(Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
announced a lawsuit Feb. 22 against Downhole Technology, a manufacturer of
equipment for hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”), for allegations of retaliating
against an employee who reported being harassed by white coworkers because of
Echols, an employee of Downhole Technology who is black, reported to management
that coworkers harassed him by using a white hood reminiscent of the Ku Klux
Klan to intimidate, ridicule and insult him. According to the EEOC, the company
failed to adequately respond to the complaint and instead reprimanded and later
fired Echols for speaking out.
cannot and must not discriminate on the basis of an employee's race," said
Rayford Irvin, director for the EEOC's Houston District Office, which has
jurisdiction over parts of Texas and all of Louisiana. "Doing so denies
employment equality and violates federal law."
The EEOC seeks
punitive and compensatory damages for Echols, as well as injunctive relief
against the company to prevent future discrimination and retaliation.
who disregard their employees' rights to be free from discrimination will be
held accountable by the EEOC,” said Rudy Sustaita, regional attorney for the
Houston District Office.