Oil and Gas Services Company Failed to Hire Applicant Because of His Religion, Federal Agency Charges
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – An El Dorado, Ark., limited liability company providing completion and maintenance services to oil and gas companies violated federal law by discriminating against an applicant because of his religion, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed today.
The EEOC’s suit, Civil Action No. 4:10-cv-1419 SWW, filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas, Western Division, asserts that Premier Well Services, LLC violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 when it failed to hire Eugene Keeler because of his religion.
The Commission’s lawsuit seeks monetary relief in the form of back pay and compensatory and punitive damages, instatement, and an injunction against future discrimination.
The EEOC filed suit alleging the violation of federal law after exhausting its conciliation efforts to reach a voluntary pre‑litigation settlement.
“Although the company was initially enthusiastic about Mr. Keeler’s application, once it became aware of his religious beliefs, it no longer considered him as a possible candidate for the job,” said Katharine W. Kores, district director of the EEOC’s Memphis District Office, which has jurisdiction over Arkansas, Tennessee, and portions of Mississippi. “Title VII prohibits such disparate treatment. Job applicants should never be treated differently because they do not hold the same religious beliefs as a potential employer.”
Faye Williams, regional attorney of the Memphis District Office added, “Job seekers are encountering a crowded job market and are finding it more difficult to secure employment. Their efforts should not be sabotaged 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 completes, services, and maintains oil and gas wells. It employs approximately 37 people.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.