Employees Fired for Complaints About Harassment, Federal Agency Charged
HOUSTON – A Houston energy company will pay $98,900 and provide additional remedial relief to resolve a discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. The EEOC had charged GES Global Energy Services, Inc., (GES) formerly known as IDM Equipment, Inc., and Global Energy Services Operating, LLC, formerly known as IDM Equipment, LLC (Global Energy Services) with race discrimination and retaliation against a group of African-Americans who worked in its “rig-up yard” in Houston.
The EEOC’s lawsuit (Civil Action No. 4:10cv4977 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division) asserted that Jesse Cormier, Daniel Booth, Kelvin Turner and other African-Americans working at the defendants’ Galayda Street plant in Houston were subjected to a racially hostile work environment and that Cormier, Booth and Turner were discharged after they complained.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex (including sexual harassment and pregnancy) or national origin, and prohibits employers from retaliating against those who complain about such misconduct. The EEOC filed the lawsuit after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement.
Under the terms of the two-year consent decree settling the suit, signed Sept. 21 by U.S. District Judge Gray H. Miller, the defendants will pay $98,900 in relief to compensate Cormier, Booth and Turner. Also, the decree requires significant non-monetary relief, including that the defendants’ employees at the Galayda Street facility receive periodic training on laws prohibiting employment discrimination and that a non-discrimination notice will be posted in an agreed-upon location there.
EEOC Houston Regional Attorney Jim Sacher said, “Enforcement of anti-discrimination laws depends upon employees who are willing to oppose and report conduct that might violate them. This settlement achieves the EEOC’sobjectives by providing relief to Messrs. Cormier, Booth and Turner while implementing measures to prevent future Title VII violations. We are pleased that this company worked with the EEOC to negotiate a fair resolution to this matter.”
According to the website www.glb-energy.com, Houston-based GES has three facilities, two in Houston and one in Rosenberg, Texas. The website describes GES as “a market leader in the design and manufacture of highly mobile land drilling rigs, premium mud pump components and expendables and fully integrated AC and DC power systems.”
The EEOC enforces the federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Additional information about the EEOC is available on the agency’s website at www.eeoc.gov.