Employees say they're forced to work amid bed bug infestation

Employees told 11Alive the bugs are all over the building and bite them, but they're still expected to show up to work.

ATLANTA -- Employees at a DeKalb County company say they’re being forced to work in a bed bug-infested building - with some even having bite marks.

The technology company is called Wipro - a call center with about 600 employees in Chamblee, Ga. The facilities manager admits there is a bed bug problem and it’s been an issue since late May.

Employees told 11Alive the bugs are all over the three floors - and they’re biting. But employees are being told they still must go to work.

Kwanita Holmes sent 11Alive photos of what she said is a bed bug bite on her arm.

“We’re at work 8 hours a day and we’re getting munched on all day,” said employee Kwanita Holmes.

Holmes said she picked it up while working in Chamblee at the Wipro call center.

“One bed bug don’t stop no show, you must come to work bed bugs and all, just itch it until you make it,” she said.

Holmes said that’s the message coming from HR.

Business as usual if they want to get paid.

11Alive’s Chris Hopper spent time in the lobby Thursday night waiting for answers.

Finally, the Facilities Manager came out.

“Wipro is doing all that they could possibly do to make sure that the place is being treated the people are being protected,” Facilities Manager Stephanie Harris said.

But are employees still expected to come to the location to work?

“Again, you will have to speak to my management team in reference to that,” Harris said.

No one else from the management team ever came down and no one called 11Alive.

Other employees did send additional photos which they said show bed bugs on walls and floors in the building. Holmes is frustrated but she has no other choice but to return to work - bed bugs or not.

“I have two young kids that I have to provide for,” said Holmes.

Wipro said it’s paying for in-home bed bug consultations and treatments for employees.

11Alive has learned the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is involved.  The DeKalb Board of Health is also investigating the complaints.

11Alive asked the facilities manager how long this treatment process could take.

She said they have 25 more treatments scheduled.

“Could take three months, could take six months, it could take five, six years, who knows,” said Harris.

© 2017 WXIA-TV


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