A dozen Spanish speaking custodial workers have filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against the Auraria Higher Education Center, or AHEC, in Denver.
The employees allege they’ve suffered from unfair working conditions because AHEC has refused to provide policies and procedures in Spanish.
And that, they argue, constitutes national origin discrimination.
“Folks are not being well communicated with by their management,” said Scott Wasserman, Executive Director of the union Colorado Wins, which is representing the workers.
That lack of communication, he added, “has led to pay inequities, as a result of management’s inability to communicate HR policies.”
Blaine Nickeson is an Assistant Vice President of AHEC, which manages the campus for the University of Colorado at Denver, the Community College of Denver, and the Metropolitan State University of Denver
He says the Center hasn’t received a copy of the grievance yet, so he couldn’t comment on the specifics.
But Nickeson added, “We are an agency of the State of Colorado and we don’t believe there’s a requirement in either state statute or policy that would require us to communicate with employees in a language other than English”
Nickeson said the Center has employees that speak other languages besides Spanish and English and it’s not able to provide translation for each of them.
But the union says other campuses provide translations for their staff and despite a year of discussions there’s been no movement on the part of Auraria.