Three service companies operating in Wyoming agreed to pay $1.2 million Wednesday to settle a federal lawsuit for alleged racial discrimination and violations of the Civil Rights Act.
A lawsuit brought by the U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EECO) alleged Michigan-based Dart Energy services, Beckman Production Services and Beckman subsidiary J&R Well Services routinely harassed and discriminated against minority employees.
According to the lawsuit, since 2005 the three companies subjected Native American, Black and Hispanic job applicants and employees to “offensive racial and ethnic slurs…on a regular, if not daily, basis.”
The EECO alleged minority employees were frequently given less desirable job assignment, fewer hours and were disciplined “more harshly” than their white counterparts.
The three firms were also accused of firing employees because of their national origin or race, Upstream said.
One incident detailed in the suit involved an unidentified employee posting a “no minorities allowed” sign in a company owned trailer.
The three firms will pay a combined $955,000 to 17 employees and $245,000 to cover legal fees.
The companies did not admit to any wrongdoing but agreed to not discriminate against applicants and employees based on race.
“Working in the oil and gas industry can be dangerous enough. Employees shouldn’t have to fight bigotry at the same time,” EEOC trial attorney Sean Ratliff said.