U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Cleaning Services Provider Refused to Hire Qualified Male for Janitor Job Because of His Gender, Federal Agency Charged
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- An Indiana-based corporation that provides commercial cleaning, facility management and other commercial services nationwide, violated federal law when it failed to hire a qualified male applicant because of his sex, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today.
Executive Management Services, Inc. (EMS) provided cleaning services to its client Convergys Corporation at the client's offices in Charlotte and Hickory, N.C. Around 2009, EMS subcontracted these services to Skyline Services USA, a local provider of commercial cleaning services. According to EEOC's lawsuit, William Kehoe, a male employee of Skyline, worked as a janitor / day porter at the Convergys's facility in Charlotte beginning around Sept. 9, 2013. Kehoe's duties included cleaning both men's and women's restrooms. He would sometimes have to stop his cleaning of the women's restrooms and step out when women would enter the restroom during cleaning, and would resume cleaning after the women left. According to EEOC's complaint, as a result of Kehoe being interrupted, EMS requested that Skyline replace Kehoe with a female janitor, but the Skyline refused. Soon after Skyline refused to replace Kehoe, EMS terminated Skyline's contract, effective March 31, 2014. EEOC further alleges that although EMS rehired some or all of the Skyline employees who worked at Convergys's facilities, EMS refused to consider Kehoe for reemployment because of his sex.
Sex discrimination violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. EEOC filed suit (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Executive Management Services, Inc. d/b/a Executive Management Services of Indiana, Inc., Civil Action No. 3:13-CV-00123) in U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, Charlotte Division, after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. EEOC seeks back pay, compensatory and punitive damages, rightful-place hiring and injunctive relief.
"Denying a person a job opportunity because of his or her sex is unjust and unlawful," said Lynette Barnes, the EEOC Charlotte District Office regional attorney. "People should not be deprived of their right to earn a living simply because of their gender."
EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about EEOC is available on the agency's web site at www.eeoc.gov.