An Indiana-based cleaning company has agreed to pay $12,500 to settle a federal sex discrimination suit involving a male janitor who cleaned men’s and women’s restrooms at the Charlotte location of a global outsourcing firm.
The case involved janitor William Kehoe, who left the women’s restrooms he was cleaning at Convergys each time a woman entered. He would resume cleaning after the woman left, according to a complaint filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Kehoe worked for Skyline Services, a janitorial service hired by Indiana-based Executive Management Services.
Because Kehoe’s work was interrupted in the restrooms, EMS asked Skyline to replace him with a female janitor, but Skyline refused, according to the complaint. Soon after Skyline refused to replace Kehoe, EMS terminated Skyline’s contract effective March 31, 2014, the EEOC said.
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Although EMS rehired some or all of the Skyline employees who worked at Convergys, EMS refused to consider Kehoe for re-employment because of his sex, the EEOC contended in its complaint. The EEOC charged that EMS violated federal law when it failed to hire a qualified male applicant because of his sex.
The commission filed a civil lawsuit against EMS in federal court in Charlotte, after trying to reach a pre-litigation settlement.
Besides agreeing to pay Kehoe $12,500, 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 and provide periodic reports to the EEOC about some of its hiring practices.
“Employers must ensure that both men and women have equal access to jobs,” Lynette Barnes, the regional attorney in the EEOC’s Charlotte District Office, said in a statement announcing the outcome of the case. “The law requires it.”
Staff researcher Maria David contributed.