U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Oil and Gas Services Company Failed to Hire Applicant Because of His Religion, Federal Agency Charges
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Premier Well Services, LLC, an El Dorado, Ark. company that provides services to oil and gas companies, will pay $30,000 and furnish other relief to settle a religious discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.
The EEOC’s suit (Civil Action No. 4:10-cv-1419) filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas, Western Division, charged that Premier Well failed to hire an applicant because of his religious beliefs.
Premier Well denied that it engaged in any unlawful employment practices or that it otherwise violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and entered into this compromise agreement solely to avoid additional expense and the uncertainty of litigation.
Religious discrimination violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
In addition to the monetary relief, the consent decree settling the suit, approved by U. S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright:
enjoins Premier Well from discriminating against job applicants on the basis of religion;
requires Premier Well to create a religious discrimination policy and to distribute this policy to all employees;
requires Premier to provide training to its supervisory and management personnel on religious discrimination;
requires Premier Well to submit reports to EEOC during the two-year period that the consent decree is in effect; and
requires Premier Well to post a notice reinforcing the company’s policies on Title VII and its procedures for reporting and preventing discrimination in the workplace.
“Because of the economy, job applicants face many obstacles in finding employment,” Regional Attorney Faye Williams of EEOC’s Memphis District Office said. “Their efforts should not be further hampered by an employer’s religious bias. The EEOC remains vigilant in its mission to promote equality of opportunity in the workplace for both employees and applicants.”
Premier Well Services, LLC is an Arkansas limited-liability company that provides services on a fee or contract basis to oil and gas companies. Services include the completion, servicing and maintaining of oil and gas wells.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.