Oilfield Services Company Subjected Black Employees to Slurs and Mistreatment and Then Fired Employees for Reporting the Discrimination, Federal Agency Charged
SAN ANTONIO, Texas - Bermuda-based oilfield services companies Nabors Industries, Ltd. and C&J Energy Services, Ltd., Civil Action 05:16-CV-758-FB, violated federal law through widespread racial harassment of African-American employees and punishing those who complained about the abuse, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed today.
According to EEOC's lawsuit, Nabors racially harassed black employees assigned to fracking and coiled tubing oilfield service operations in Pleasanton, Texas since at least 2012. The EEOC's lawsuit describes employees and managers hurling racial epithets towards African-American employees at work, including a company meeting attended by the District Manager, where an employee referred to an African-American supervisor with the N-word. After yet another hostile incident, the African-American supervisor reported the treatment to management, but was terminated while the offending employees were retained. The lawsuit also names other workers who were retaliated against for opposing discrimination, including an employee who brought the matter directly to an Executive Vice President of the company.
Additionally, white employees were given preference based on race over black employees in duties, compensation and job assignments, EEOC said. The lawsuit further charges that employees who reported discrimination to Nabors management and who cooperated with EEOC's investigation were subjected to reprisal actions which sometimes led to firing.
The agency's lawsuit also named C&J Energy Services as a defendant for its successor role in business operations.
Race discrimination, including racial harassment, violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, San Antonio Division (EEOC v. C&J Energy Services, Inc. d/b/a Nabors Industries, Ltd., Civil Action No. 05:16-CV-758-FB) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. EEOC seeks damages for past and future pecuniary losses, past and future non-pecuniary losses, compensatory damages and punitive damages as well as injunctive relief.
"No one should have to come to work every day feeling anxiety about whether they have to endure crude and cruel racial insults," said David Rivela, a trial attorney in EEOC's San Antonio Field Office. "And punishing the employee for reporting the abuse only makes a bad situation worse."
Eduardo Juarez, supervisory trial attorney for EEOC's San Antonio Field Office, added, "There is simply no justification for doling out plum assignments based on race or for subjecting employees to racially offensive language in the workplace. Employers should remember that such unlawful conduct negatively affects their bottom line by causing a loss of productivity, morale, and loyalty among their workforces."
Discrimination charges involving harassment filed with EEOC have stood at about 27,000 nationally for the past several years, currently comprising about 31% of all discrimination charges.
EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws against employment discrimination. Further information about the agency is available on its website at www.eeoc.gov.