OAKLAND, Calif. (Legal
Newsline) – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced a
lawsuit Dec. 13 alleging that Goodwill Industries of the East Bay Area in
California, along with affiliate Calidad Industries, violated federal law by allowing
sexual harassment and disability discrimination and retaliating against
managers who tried to help the victims.
"EEOC vigorously defends
those who speak out against discrimination they see in the workplace, as well
as those who are harassed," EEOC Senior Trial Attorney Linda Ordonio-Dixon
According to EEOC, a
nightshift supervisor at the Oakland Federal Building sexually harassed at
least five women employed by Goodwill/Calidad’s janitorial operations under a federal government
contract. EEOC claims that most of the workers were employed through a program
for individuals with disabilities. Goodwill/Calidad allegedly failed to take
any action in the situation, despite complaints. Two managers who stood up for
the employees were retaliated against, EEOC charges.
“As shown in a recent Frontline video on female night shift janitors,
sexual harassment can become a pervasive problem when companies fail to curb
supervisors who abuse their power over vulnerable workers,” said EEOC's San
Francisco District Director William R. Tamayo.