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Oil firms settle EEOC racial bias suit for over $1.2 million


Two Houston oil field services companies have agreed to pay nine black workers and one of their white co-workers a total of $1,225,000 to settle a race discrimination and retaliation lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the agency said Tuesday.

The EEOC charged that Nabors Corporate Services Inc. and C&J Well Services Inc. subjected black oilfield workers at their Pleasanton, Texas, yard to a hostile work environment that included the pervasive use of racial slurs in the workplace.

The EEOC alleged the company’s managers intentionally assigned black employees to lower-paying jobs and fired workers in retaliation for reporting racial harassment, among other allegations. The firms were charged with violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

In addition to paying the settlement to the workers, under a two-year consent decree the companies are required to provide training to their employees informing them of their rights and protections under Title VII, among other provisions.

San Antonio-based EEOC trial attorney Philip Moss said in a statement, “Workplace harassment, including the pervasive use of racial slurs and circulating racist social media posts, have absolutely no place at the worksite. The EEOC is committed to eliminating this unlawful conduct and to protecting the rights of employees.”

C&J said in a statement that it acquired the unit of Hamilton, Bermuda-based Nabors Industries Ltd. involved in the litigation in 2015, three years after the alleged events, and that Nabors has agreed to fund the settlement.

It said while it “disputes the matter had merit, bringing this matter to a close was the best way to proceed.”

A Nabors spokesman could not be reached for comment.

In October, a beverage distribution company agreed to pay $950,000 to resolve an EEOC investigation as to whether it discriminated against its Illinois sales employees. 



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