US Department of Labor files complaint against ABM Janitorial Services alleging systemic racial discrimination at Maryland, Virginia offices
BALTIMORE – The U.S. Department of Labor has filed an administrative complaint against ABM Janitorial Services after a compliance evaluation by the department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs alleged systematic racial discrimination against Black and a smaller number of white applicants for janitorial positions at its Baltimore and Alexandria, Virginia, locations.
Filed on Sept. 15 with the department’s Office of Administrative Law Judges, the complaint alleges that since at least 2015 and continuing to the present, ABM Janitorial Services has discriminated against Black workers for cleaning positions at all three facilities and white workers at one of the facilities. The complaint also alleges that the employer failed to document hiring decisions properly, which masked its discriminatory hiring practices.
OFCCP found ABM’s actions violated Executive Order 11246, which prohibits federal contractors from discriminating in employment based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation and gender identity. ABM Janitorial Services is a subsidiary of ABM Industries Inc., a large federal contractor.
The department’s complaint seeks an order that would compel ABM Janitorial Services to provide relief to affected workers, and would debar the company from obtaining any new federal contracts if it fails to follow a court order to come into compliance.
“We will work in conjunction with the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs to ensure that federal contractors administer their federal contracts without discriminating against applicants and employees,” said U.S. Labor Department Solicitor Seema Nanda. “We will continue to use all available resources to ensure every applicant can seek employment free of discrimination and bias, and when we find evidence of discrimination we will pursue these alleged violations in court.”
“No one should be denied an opportunity to work based on race. The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs will vigorously enforce the law to ensure that companies doing business with the federal government meet their equal employment opportunity obligations,” said Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs Director Jenny R. Yang.
ABM Industries Inc. provides janitorial, electrical and lighting and other facilities services. It employs more than 100,000 employees in offices throughout the U.S. and internationally.
OFCCP enforces Executive Order 11246, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974.