Group protests alleged bias of rental company

November 08, 1998|By Dan Thanh Dang | Dan Thanh Dang,SUN STAFF

A small group demonstrated outside a Towson apartment complex yesterday to call attention to a discrimination complaint lodged against a rental management company that alleges racial bias against African-Americans in assignments and promotions.

The target of the protest at Ivy Hall Apartments was Apartment Services/Tri-City, which oversees more than 32 apartment and townhouse communities throughout the Baltimore area.

"I worked for them for 11 years and never had a chance to work at any of their high-class properties like this one," said April Williams, 44.

She said she was a leasing manager for the company owned by Timonium-based Homes Sales and left a year ago after joining in a discrimination complaint filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The former and current employees said they filed their complaint in May 1997, alleging they received less pay than white colleagues and were passed over for promotions. They also alleged that blacks were restricted to jobs as service technicians, grounds people and leasing representatives.

Peter S. Saucier, an attorney with the law firm Kollman and Sheehan, which represents Home Sales, said four of the five employees who filed complaints have left the company voluntarily, and the company has a black property manager.

"What I think it does boil down to is a bit of bitterness on the part of one or two people for not getting a job she feels she should get," Saucier said.

"We have a good record in hiring African-Americans, and we have nothing to be ashamed of."

Pub Date: 11/08/98

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