Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

Lawsuit claims Latino janitors treated unfairly

October 1, 2009
SAN FRANCISCO — A lawsuit filed Wednesday alleges that a major commercial cleaning company routinely singles out Latino janitors for discipline, harassment and firings, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, ABM Industries Inc. had violated the rights of at least seven Latino janitors who worked for the company in San Francisco from 2004 to 2006, and there is a possibility that more have been discriminated against recently.
Some janitors were allegedly fired or disciplined without justification and others were transferred to temporary jobs and supposedly replaced by non-Latinos with less seniority, the story stated.
An unidentified janitor who lost his job said: "The discrimination affected me spiritually and physically. I lost a lot of weight and could not sleep. It affected my entire family, my daughters and my wife, as well as our finances."
The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, seeks compensation for the janitors and court orders requiring the company to train its staff on anti-discrimination laws, the story noted.
ABM Industries spokesman Tony Mitchell claims that most of the commission''s allegations were previously addressed and resolved in union arbitration proceedings, the story added.
A statement from ABM Industries said: "We are confident that further review of the facts will prove once again that these claims are meritless."
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