This past year, the U.S. Department of Labor filed a discrimination lawsuit against a Baltimore staffing agency (WMS) that provides asbestos removal and demolition workers for federal contractors. At the time of the alleged unlawful activity, the agency had over $6 million in subcontracts for the U.S. government.


According to the suit, the agency favored hiring Hispanic construction workers, and then permitted supervisors to discriminate and harass them. The supervisors allegedly made racial slurs against the workers, physically assaulted them, and threatened them with deportation.

The staffing agency’s abuses did not end with Hispanic workers. The agency also discriminated against against woman by paying them less than their male counterparts and discriminated against African American’s by assigning them fewer hours.

“WMS allowed workers it hired to be exploited and abused. It denied job opportunities to qualified workers based on race and ethnicity. It underpaid female workers and assigned fewer work hours based on race and gender," said the director of the DOL’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP).

Federal subcontractors are not alone in discriminating against certain class of workers. 

In New York, although the NYSHRL and the NYCHRL make it an unlawful discriminatory practice . . . [f]or an employer to discriminate against employees because of their “actual or perceived age, race, creed, color, national origin, gender, disability, marital status, partnership status, sexual orientation or alienage or citizenship status…” (see N.Y. Exec. L. § 296(1)(a); see also N.Y.C. Admin. Code § 8-107(1)(a)) we still witness a great deal of discrimination especially against woman, Hispanics, African American, Muslims and Jews. The law does provide protection to victims of employment discrimination and the Akin Law Group (attorneys with knowledge in this specialized area of the law) can assist them in making a recovery for the loss they sustained.

Who is liable when a person faces discrimination by an entity that is not their direct employer?

According to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, general contractors may be held responsible for subcontractors’ discrimination in some cases. If the general contractor exercises a sufficient amount of control over the subcontractor’s employees, it may be held legally and financially liable for any discriminatory activity that occurs.

Call the Akin Law Group today | Discrimination Attorney in New York City and New Jersey

Whether you work for a company or a subcontractor, the law protects you from employment discrimination and harassment at work which is based on your race, religion, color creed, sex, sexual orientation, disability, age and national origin. If you believe that you have been a victim of discrimination or harassment in your workplace, contact the Akin Law Group at (866) 685-5163 as soon as possible to schedule a free consultation. Our employment discrimination lawyers will discuss your case with you, and help you evaluate your options moving forward.


Zafer Akin, the managing partner at the Akin Law Group 212-825-1400) provides free consultations to victims of workplace racial discrimination.

The labor and employment attorneys at the Akin Law Group, located in Downtown Manhattan (New York City), have a 24-year proven track record representing employees that have been subjected to sexual harassment, employment discrimination and Minimum Wage or Overtime pay violations. Being situated in the financial district, we are within an easy commute for clients in New York City (Brooklyn, Bronx, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island), Westchester, Long Island and New Jersey.