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PRESS RELEASE
8-30-11

Crime Scene Cleaners Sued For Sex Bias

EEOC Charges Company Refused to Hire Woman Because of Gender

OAKLAND, Calif.  — Oakland-based Crime Scene Cleaners, a  trauma scene cleaning company specializing in homicide, suicide and accidental  death scene cleanup operations, violated federal law by refusing to hire a  qualified female applicant because of her gender, the U.S. Equal Employment  Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today.

The federal agency  asserts that Kristi Nunez responded to an advertisement by Crime Scene and applied  for a position as a crime scene cleaner in November 2006. Although clearly qualified for the position,  Nunez was asked a series of questions during her job interview that indicated  she was not viewed as an appropriate candidate for the job because she is  female, said the EEOC. Nunez was not  hired, and the company hired a man for the position instead. The EEOC’s lawsuit also charges the company  with failure to keep records as required by law, so that equal opportunity  hiring records can be checked.

“At the  interview, I was hoping to talk about my educational background in chemistry  and my experience with crime scenes from volunteering with the Richmond police  department, but all the interviewer wanted to talk about was if I was married,  if I had a jealous husband, and if I could work with all men,” said Nunez. “I expected questions about my qualifications  for the job, not about my personal life.”

Discrimination based on gender  violates Title VII of Civil Rights Act of 1964.  After first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through  conciliation, the EEOC filed the lawsuit (EEOC  v. Crime Scene Cleaners, Inc.) in U.S. District Court for the Northern  District of California, and seeks monetary damages on behalf of Nunez, training  on anti-discrimination laws, posting of anti-discrimination notices at the work  site, and other steps to prevent future discrimination.

EEOC San Francisco Regional  Attorney William R. Tamayo said,  “Stereotyping jobs as ‘women’s work’ or ‘men’s work’  is illegal and simply wrong in a modern workplace. Employers must look at an applicant’s qualifications,  not gender.”

EEOC San Francisco District  Director Michael Baldonado added, “Failing to keep records will not deter the EEOC  from investigating discrimination. As in  this case, we will enforce the federal EEO laws that require employers to keep  records concerning hiring decisions, and hold responsible the employers who  fail to do so.”

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