No one deserves to feel unsafe or uncomfortable in their place of employment. In fact, Texas employers are required to ensure that their work environments are free of harassment and discrimination. Unfortunately, not all employers take this seriously — and some would rather quiet down an employee who speaks up about wrongful behavior than fix the problem. This is exactly what happened to one Texas worker.
The employee worked on a field crew for Torqued-Up Energy Services, a company that makes equipment for the gas and petroleum industry. Two of the man’s supervisors began harassing him by using racial slurs when speaking to him. The man decided to take action and reported the behavior to his employer — as any employee who is being harassed or discriminated against should. Unfortunately, his employer did nothing to help.
According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the company reduced the man’s hours and reassigned him to work a job that involved sweeping and cleaning trucks — tasks that were far below his skill level. He decided to seek legal help.
Torqued-Up Energy Services eventually agreed to pay the man $150,000 for failing to correct inappropriate behavior and for retaliating against him when he reported it. The company has also been ordered to create a policy that prohibits discrimination in the workplace.
It is devastating when you turn to your employer for help and it turns your back on you. Employers are supposed to be advocates for their employees, not suppress their concerns. Fortunately, this man took appropriate steps in seeking legal advice. Working with an attorney is a good way to hold an employer accountable while making sure that they treat employees better in the future.
Source: Business Insurance, “Texas energy firm settles racial harassment, retaliation suit,” Judy Greenwald, May 29, 2013