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PRESS RELEASE
10-9-09

EEOC Sues Able Engineering Services for Retaliation

Montgomery Mall Contractor Fired Employee for Complaining About Race and Sex Discrimination, Federal Agency Charges

BALTIMORE – A nationwide building services company providing services to Westfield’s Montgomery Mall in Bethesda, Md., violated federal law when it fired an employee because he complained about race and sex discrimination, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it announced today.

In its suit, the EEOC said Crown Energy Services, doing business as Able Engineering Services, terminated Carlos Moulden shortly after he complained about sex and race discrimination to his supervisor and the human resource department at the Montgomery Mall. The EEOC said that Moulden’s supervisor, Richard Mouri, angrily told him that he “should not have gone to the human resource department” with the complaints and that he [Mouri] “was the human resource department.”

Retaliation for protesting employment discrimination violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit (Civil Action No. 8:09-cv-02572PJM) in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, Southern Division, after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement. The complaint seeks monetary and injunctive relief, including back wages, compensatory and punitive damages and changes in employment policies to provide equal employment opportunities and an end to retaliatory employment practices.

“Rather than taking advantage of the opportunity to address Mr. Moulden’s internal complaints about discrimination, Able Services made a bad situation worse by illegally punishing him for complaining,” said EEOC Regional Attorney Debra Lawrence. “We must be vigilant in enforcing the law and ensure that employees who engage in legally protected opposition are not fired in retaliation.”

According to its web site (www.ableserve.com), Able Engineering is the largest privately held building services company in the United States.

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the Commission is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.