Halliburton to Settle National Origin, Religious Discrimination Suit for $275K

October 9, 2019

Houston-based Halliburton Energy Services Inc. will pay $275,000 and furnish other relief to settle a national origin and religious discrimination lawsuit, federal officials say.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) had charged in a lawsuit that Halliburton, one of the world’s largest providers of products and services to the energy industry with more than 55,000 employees, subjected two oilfield workers to national origin and religious discrimination.

The EEOC’s suit also alleged that Halliburton unlawfully retaliated against one of the employees by firing him for reporting the mistreatment.

According to the EEOC’s suit, Hassan Snoubar, of Syrian national origin, began working for Halliburton as an operator assistant oil field worker in approximately August 2012. During his employment, Snoubar, a U.S. citizen, was subjected to taunts and name calling regarding both his national origin and his Muslim religion. According to the suit, he was frequently called derogatory names and was accused of being associated with ISIS and terrorism by supervisors and co-workers.

Mir Ali, a Muslim co-worker of Indian national origin, was similarly subjected to the hostile environment.

The EEOC said that the two men were made to openly suffer insults including radio broadcasts of the offensive characterizations.

After being continually criticized about cultural attire and his appearance, Snoubar expressed his concerns to management and human resources, and was then fired as retaliation.

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employers from discriminating based on national origin and religion and retaliation. The EEOC filed its lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division (EEOC v. Halliburton Energy services, Inc., Civil Action No. 3:18-cv-01736), after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

A three-year consent decree settling the suit was signed by U.S. District Court Judge David C. Godbey on October 7, 2019. In addition to paying $275,000 in monetary relief to Snoubar and Ali, the decree enjoins Halliburton from engaging in national origin or religious discrimination or retaliation in the future.

The company has also agreed provide training on national origin and religious discrimination to managerial and human resources employees, post a notice of employee rights under Title VII, and report future complaints of national origin and religious discrimination to the EEOC.

Source: EEOC

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