For immediate release
April 14, 2005
Mounting discrimination allegations at Cintas Corporation
Cincinnati, OH – Cintas Corporation (CTAS) disclosed that the company is now the subject of additional Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) investigations with the agency’s filing of two new charges. The first charge alleged Cintas failed to hire and assign females to certain production positions, and the second charge alleged Cintas failed to hire and assign women, African-Americans and Hispanics into the company’s Management Trainee program.
According to Cintas’ disclosure statement in its 10-Q quarterly filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), an EEOC Commissioner filed the charges against Cintas on November 30, 2004. The EEOC is an independent federal agency created by Congress to eradicate discrimination in the workplace. When an EEOC Commissioner suspects that an employer is committing systemic discrimination, he or she may file a Commissioner’s charge that triggers an investigation of the company.
Cintas faces multiple federal discrimination lawsuits including two class action lawsuits, pending EEOC charges from individual employees, and now investigations from a federal agency.
“Cintas has an alarming problem when it comes to discrimination. Cintas’ disturbing pattern of racial and gender discrimination reserves higher-paying production positions for men, shuts women out of route driver positions, and prevents women and people of color from becoming company executives and managers. We are hopeful that the EEOC Commissioner’s Charges and EEOC intervention will help put an end to this culture of intolerance,” said Wilfredo Larancuent, UNITE HERE International Vice President.
Announcement of the new charges comes just two months after the EEOC intervened in a federal class action discrimination lawsuit, Ramirez et al vs. Cintas, brought by ten current and former employees of the company. In February, the EEOC General Counsel Eric Dreiband stated in the agency’s filings, “the EEOC has determined that there is sufficient and reasonable basis to believe that Cintas discriminates against women in the recruitment and hiring of sales drivers.” Plaintiffs first filed their claims in federal court in January 2004 and allege Cintas systematically discriminates against its African-American, Hispanic and women employees.
Cintas is one of the fastest growing companies in the industrial laundry industry and boasts 35 years of consecutive quarterly growth in revenues and profits. Cintas provides uniform and mat services to companies such as Ford, Daimler Chrysler, DuPont, American Building Maintenance, and the United States Postal Service.
This is an announcement from the Campaign for Uniform Justice, a joint effort of UNITE HERE and the Teamsters. UNITE HERE and the Teamsters have established a hotline, 1-800-872-8646, to offer help to Cintas workers and job applicants who believe Cintas has discriminated against them. The unions, which together represent one-third of the workers in the North American uniform and laundry industry, recently released a report, “The Spirit is the Problem,” documenting employee claims that Cintas’ corporate culture supports discrimination. The report is available at www.uniformjustice.org