Another sticky, slimy situation in a government facility involving disgruntled employees, obtuse administration, and mold. This time it’s the Mendocino County Social Services building in Ukiah, California.
When James Marmon started working in the building in 2007, he noticed red Xs on the floor mats. Only weeks later did he find out why. Mr. Marmon had stepped into a moldy office that was causing employees a range of symptoms from extreme fatigue to nosebleeds. There were rumblings of inspections and investigations into the air quality, but not enough action was taken. Several other employees have complained with respiratory problems and filed workers’ compensation claims with the union.
Finally, at a recent meeting, Marmon spoke up about the mold problem with his fellow employees: “I asked how long they knew about the mold problem.” Sure enough, James Marmon was then escorted out of the building and put on administration leave the next day. The county didn’t tell Marmon why he was placed on administration leave. “It is a means of intimidation to stop me from testifying and leading others to testify,” believes Marmon.
It gets worse. Apparently the mold started years ago when a roof leak during the spring caused mold to grow under the carpet. The Buildings and grounds Division responded by shampooing the carpets. Um, what? How is shampooing a carpet that has mold beneath it going to do anything but feed the mold? Liquids on carpet seep through it and wet the underside and padding underneath. That’s why moldy carpet can only be seen by pulling up the carpet.
Now, there is going to be an unnecessary mold inspection at taxpayer expense by OSHA. If mold is found and it violates workplace safety laws, they could shut down the area if it is foreseen hazard. Wouldn’t it have been easier to just hire a reputable mold removal specialist years ago? It seems the administration of this building does not comprehend how water gets in a building and where mold grows.