July 21–Halliburton is facing a lawsuit based on alleged discrimination experienced by former employees at their Kilgore facility.
On July 3, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced via a press release on their website they were filing a lawsuit against the oilfield services company on behalf of former Halliburton employees Hassan Snoubar and Mir Ali. The suit alleges Snoubar, a U.S. citizen of Syrian origin, experienced taunting and insults from co-workers and supervisors based on his Muslim religion, ethnic background and cultural attire after he began working for Halliburton in August 2012. The suit alleges Ali, a Muslim of Indian origin and Snoubar’s co-worker, experienced similar derogatory remarks and jokes while working for the company.
The release states both men were called derogatory names by other Halliburton employees, including “camel jockey,” and were accused of being terrorists or members of ISIS. According to the EEOC, several current and former Halliburton employees heard radio broadcasts on the job containing offensive stereotypes insulting Snoubar and Ali.
The release also states Snoubar approached management and human resources to discuss the alleged mistreatment and was then fired.
The EEOC claims it filed the lawsuit against Halliburton in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division, after it was unable to secure a pre-litigation settlement.
In a statement included in the press release, EEOC trial attorney Joel Clark said: “This case should serve as a message that this kind of behavior will not be tolerated in the workplace. No one should have to arrive at the workplace and be taunted or persecuted for his religious beliefs or national origin.”
As of July 20, Halliburton has not released an official public response or statement regarding the EEOC lawsuit.
“Halliburton does not comment on pending litigation. We are committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive work environment for our more than 55,000 employees that represent 140 nationalities in approximately 80 countries,” said Halliburton External Affairs Director Emily Mir by email on Friday.
The EEOC press release included a statement from EEOC Dallas District Office Regional Attorney Robert A. Canino claiming Halliburton could be held liable for the actions of its employees.
“Passivity in the face of this kind of abuse is certainly enough for an employer to be held accountable, but the participation by supervisors in the mean-spirited degradation of an employee’s ethnic heritage and faith is unconscionable as well as unlawful. The oil field environment is not to be a free-fire zone for destructive energy in the form of open bigotry,” Canino said.
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