U.S. Government Sues Baltimore Company for Abusing Hispanic Workers

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US_Dept_of_LaborA Baltimore staffing firm hired Hispanic workers on purpose so it could abuse them, a federal lawsuit filed Wednesday alleges.

The U.S. Department of Labor accuses WMS Solutions LLC of creating a system that allowed companies working on federal contracts to assault Hispanic workers physically and verbally. The verbal assaults included racial slurs and threats of deportation, the suit states.

The staffing firm did this after hiring male Hispanic workers over black, white and female applicants, the lawsuit alleges. When black and female workers were hired, female workers were paid less than Hispanic and each of the groups were given less work.

WMS specialized in staffing for asbestos removal and demolition. The company hired workers for construction projects as part of contracts with the U.S. Navy, National Institutes of Health and General Services Administration. The company had federal contracts totaling $6 million, the feds state.

The accusations in the lawsuit date to 2011. In 2012, the company faced an OSHA complaint for failing to provide proper equipment to employees who were dealing with asbestos, and making employees pay for their own medical exams.

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