EEOC, the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, is suing a Montgomery County business, alleging that it's been discriminating against blacks and women for years.
The lawsuit was filed Monday in federal court in Maryland against ACM Services, an environmental remediation services contractor based in Rockville.
ACM Services President R. Thom Hess did not return a call and email for comment Tuesday.
The lawsuit, announced by the commission on Tuesday, alleges that since at least January 2005, ACM has exclusively used word-of-mouth recruitment practices for field laborer positions to avoid black applicants, and has refused to hire women for such positions as well.
The commission also accused the company's management of subjecting two employees, Hispanic women, to sexual and racial harassment and firing them for opposing the harassment. The harassment included asking one of the women for sex, making derogatory comments about Hispanic women and displaying graphic sexual images of women, the commission said.
Michelle Crew, an outreach and training manager at the commission's Cleveland field office, declined to name the specific managers at ACM accused of harassment, saying the commission's attorneys prefer to litigate the matter in court, not in the media.
In a written statement Tuesday, the commission's Philadelphia district director, Spencer Lewis Jr., said it's "unacceptable and plainly unlawful" to refuse to recruit black or female workers.
"We are committed to ensuring that everyone is afforded equal opportunities during the hiring process to be judged on abilities, and not race or sex," he said.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.