Company Failed to Honor Agreement to Hire Applicant to Resolve Disability Bias Charge, Federal Agency Charged
JACKSON, Miss. - Halliburton Energy Services, Inc., an oil and gas exploration services company with headquarters in Houston, has agreed to pay $280,000 to settle a lawsuit for breach of a mediation settlement agreement brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.
According to the EEOC's suit, Halliburton entered into a mediation settlement agreement with the EEOC and a rejected job applicant on Feb. 4, 2014, resolving a disability discrimination charge brought by the EEOC against the company. Among other things, Halliburton promised to rehire the applicant into a position, subject to successful employment screening. Despite the applicant's successfully passing such screening, Halliburton failed to hire him for any position. The EEOC contended that Halliburton's actions constituted a breach of the settlement agreement. The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. Halliburton Energy Service, Inc. and Boots & Coots, LLC, Civil Action No. 3:16-cv-00233-CWR-FKB) in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, Northern Division.
In addition to the $280,000 in monetary relief, the consent decree settling the suit also requires Halliburton to provide the applicant with a positive employment reference signed and printed on Halliburton's letterhead.
"When the EEOC settles with an employer to resolve a matter, whether through litigation or its alternative dispute resolution process, the agency fully expects the employer to fulfill the terms of the agreement," said Marsha L. Rucker, regional attorney for the EEOC's Birmingham District Office. "This case should serve as an example that when an employer refuses to abide by the terms of a mediated settlement agreement, the EEOC will not hesitate to seek the courts' assistance to bring the employer into compliance."
District Director Bradley Anderson of the EEOC's Birmingham District Office added, "An employer's refusal to comply with the terms of a mediation settlement agreement is a rare occurrence. After reasonable efforts to obtain voluntary compliance, the EEOC had no choice but to seek court intervention to enforce the agreement. We believe this suit and its resolution will remind employers that settlement agreements with the EEOC must be honored."
The EEOC's Birmingham District Office has jurisdiction over Alabama, Mississippi (all but 17 counties in the northern part of Mississippi), and the Florida Panhandle.
The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov. Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.