Cleaning Services Provider Refused to Hire Qualified Male for Janitor Job Because of His Gender, Federal Agency Charged
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Executive Management Services, Inc. (EMS), an Indiana-based corporation that provides commercial cleaning, facility management and other commercial services nationwide, has agreed to pay $12,500 to settle a sex discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. The EEOC had charged that EMS violated federal law when it failed to hire a qualified male applicant because of his sex.
According to the EEOC's complaint, William Kehoe, a male employee of Skyline Services (a janitorial service), worked as a janitor / day porter at the Convergys 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 Skyline refused. Soon after Skyline refused to replace Kehoe, EMS terminated Skyline's contract, effective March 31, 2014. EEOC further alleged 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.
In addition to providing monetary relief to Kehoe, EMS entered into a two-year consent decree requiring, among other things, that it conduct annual training for supervisors and managers on Title VII and its prohibition against discrimination based on sex. EMS must also post an employee notice about the lawsuit, as well as provide periodic reports to the EEOC concerning some of its hiring practices.
"Employers must ensure that both men and women have equal access to jobs," said Lynette Barnes, the regional attorney in the EEOC's Charlotte District Office. "The law requires it."
The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov. Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.