An oil services company from Louisiana is being sued by 230 current and former employees over allegations of racial discrimination, hostile environment, harassment, and retaliation.
The civil rights lawsuit against Turner Industries Group was filed in a Texas federal court just this week by its African-American workers. In the complaint, they alleged that they’ve been subjected to unequal and discriminatory treatment in Turner facilities in Louisiana and Texas. They claimed that for more than a decade, despite their complaints, they suffered through racial slurs, segregated bathrooms and nooses were even hung in their workplaces. Also, whenever they complained, the management failed to correct or address their concerns and in several instances, even retaliated against the black employees for complaining about discrimination.
The company however, denied the charges of discrimination and harassment. It even claimed that many of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit were not employees and never even worked for Turner and that their records show that few of the plaintiffs had ever reported discrimination before.
However, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) itself found that evidence that the black employees at Turner facilities were unfavorably treated by the company. Aside from the hostile work environment tainted with racial slurs, intimidation tactics, and symbols of discrimination, the EEOC found that most black employees were given lower-paying jobs and denied promotions.
Turner however, said through a statement that it disagreed with the EEOC’s findings and that its own investigation did not turn up any discrimination.
According to the EEOC, race/color discrimination is the most commonly filed complaint with the agency. Last 2010, as many as 35,890 charges were filed with the EEOC.
Under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, specifically, Title VII, it is illegal to treat an applicant or employee unfavorably on the basis of his membership in a certain race or because of personal characteristics associated with race such as skin color, hair texture, or certain facial features.
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