EEOC Reaches Settlements in Racial Harassment Cases
| Read Time: 2 minutes | Race

Race harassment settlements help hold companies accountable for a hostile work environment.

However, a recent $1.75 million EEOC settlement highlights the ongoing problem of race discrimination and race harassment in the oil and gas industries. This settlement follows numerous prior race harassment settlements and shows that the industry remains hostile to many minority and female workers.

In the 1990s, the EEOC sued Pipeliners Local 798, a union that dispatches welders and their assistants to projects throughout the country, to admit women and minorities into membership. At the time of the EEOC hearing, Pipeliners did not have a single Black member, and it admitted its first woman on the eve of the hearing. Pipeliners was required to admit minority and female members in a consent decree that remained in place until 2007.

However, even with the consent decree in place, members recounted that the union did nothing to stop race harassment. In reporting by NPR, members recalled nooses being drawn at the worksite. Shockingly, the union did nothing to stop these blatant and horrific acts of race harassment.

Plains and Copperhead Race Harassment Settlements

On August 8, 2022, the EEOC announced a $1.75 million racial and national origin harassment settlement. The EEOC had alleged that four pipeline companies in the Permian Basin had fostered hostile work environments for Black, Native American, and Hispanic employees. Some of the original complainants had been fired in retaliation for complaining of the harassment. The EEOC alleged that this conduct violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The consent decree required the four pipeline companies to pay $1.75 million to the 16 complainants. It also required the companies to implement new training programs and anti-discrimination policies. One of the pipeline companies, Plains, agree to fire the harasser. Thus, this race harassment settlement was intended to create change at the pipeline companies and prevent future harassment.

Contact Experienced Racial Harassment Attorneys Today

King & Siegel LLP’s attorneys are dedicated to fighting for racial justice in the workplace. Our Los Angeles, Sacramento, and San Francisco employment attorneys practice throughout California and have recovered nearly $100 million for employees since the Firm was founded in 2018. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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Julian Burns King graduated with honors from Harvard Law School and founded King & Siegel in 2018. As head of the Firm’s discrimination and harassment practice areas, she champions the rights of working parents and victims of workplace discrimination and harassment. She has been recognized as a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers annually since 2018 and has recovered tens of millions of dollars on behalf of her clients.

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