HOUSTON (Legal Newsline) — The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced a lawsuit Feb. 13 against Signature Industrial Services LLC (SIS) for allegations of firing three laborers because of blood disorders.
According to the EEOC, brothers Drew and Anthony West worked at an Exxon Mobil refinery in Beaumont, Texas when SIS took over a contract to perform mechanical services at the plant. SIS allegedly added the West brothers to its payroll in December 2011. The company later learned, however, that both Drew and Anthony West have hemophilia A, a blood disorder that does not impede the two from their work duties but that requires expensive medicine to treat any work-related injuries.
SIS’s president allegedly instructed the brothers’ manager to fire them but the manager refused because Drew and Anthony both had excellent track records at the company. Raymond West, a third brother, started working at the company around January 2013. Raymond West also has hemophilia A. In April 2013, upper management at SIS allegedly told the manager that if he did not fire the three brothers, the company would fire him too. All three West brothers were fired July 3, 2013.
"When workers have a disability that does not impede them from doing their jobs capably, an employer cannot discriminate against them based on fears that treating them fairly may hurt the company's bottom line," said EEOC Houston District director Rayford O. Irvin in a statement.
The EEOC seeks compensatory and punitive damages for the Wests as well as a permanent injunction against SIS to bar them from future discrimination.
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