SANTA FE, NM — An administrative law judge has ordered the janitorial company for Santa Fe Public Schools
to reinstate and pay back wages to a group of workers who claim they were unfairly fired for pursuing sexual harassment claims and for suing over vacation pay owed to them, according to The New Mexican
Judge Lana H. Parke of the National Labor Relations Board
(NLRB) issued the ruling against the California-based Merchants Building Maintenance LLC
on November 23 and ordered it to cease and desist from "threatening employees with adverse consequences because they engaged in protected activities," the article stated.
The judge has ordered Merchants Building to rehire the 21 workers within 14 days "to substantially equivalent positions," pay back wages and provide other benefits, the article noted.
According to the article, the workers, who were first hired for the 2008-2009 school year, claim they were owed vacation pay and that they weren''t called back for the fall of 2009 because Merchants was upset with them for taking legal action against the company and pursuing complaints of sexual harassment.
An attorney for the privately-owned Merchants Building Maintenance in Monterey Park, California, Thomas Lenz, said the firm will appeal the decision, stating that the the janitors were not hired back because they did not meet eligibility standards, such as having valid Social Security numbers and passing background checks, the article added.