EEOC: Black employee faced racial slurs, harassment at oil, gas company

By Marian Johns | Aug 14, 2018

MINNEAPOLIS — The federal government is suing a Texas oil and gas company, alleging it subjected an African-American employee to racial slurs without taking action to stop the discrimination. 

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota against Murex Petroleum Corp., alleging violation of civil rights law. 

According to the EEOC, an African-American worker was allegedly harassed by white coworkers who called him "spook," "spade," and "Buckwheat" in addition to using racially derogatory comments such as "n----r-rigged." 

Despite the employee's complaints, no action was taken to stop the harassment," the EEOC said. The EEOC also alleges another African-American employee had complained to a company executive about harassment with no action taken.

"The EEOC is committed to stopping racial harassment," EEOC Chicago District director Julianne Bowman said in a statement.

"The use of racial slurs has no place in the workplace," added EEOC Chicago District regional attorney Gregory Gochanou.   "The EEOC will continue to vigorously litigate cases involving such unlawful misconduct."

The EEOC seeks compensatory and punitive damages, plus injunctive relief. 

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