Leading American multinational corporation Halliburton will pay USD 275,000 to two of its Muslim employees of Indian and Syrian-origins who were subjected to religious discrimination and accused of having links with terrorists by the company’s employees.
The Houston-based company, one of the world’s largest providers of products and services to the energy industry with over 55,000 employees, has agreed to pay the amount and furnish significant relief to settle a national origin and religious discrimination lawsuit brought by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC.
The lawsuit alleged that oilfield workers Mir Ali, a Muslim co-worker of Indian-origin and Hassan Snoubar of Syrian-origin were subjected to a hostile environment.
According to the EEOC’s suit, Snoubar began working for Halliburton as an operator assistant oil field worker in approximately August 2012.
During his employment, Snoubar, a US citizen, was subjected to taunts and name-calling regarding both his national origin and his Muslim religion.
He was frequently called derogatory names and was accused of being associated with ISIS and terrorism by supervisors and co-workers, according to the suit. Ali “was similarly subjected to the hostile environment”.
“The EEOC said the two men were made to openly suffer insults including radio broadcasts of the offensive characterizations,” a statement said.
After being continually criticised about cultural attire and his appearance, Snoubar expressed his concerns to management and human resources, and was then fired as retaliation.
The EEOC filed its lawsuit in US District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division after first attemng to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
In addition to paying USD 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 to provide training on national origin and religious discrimination to managerial and human resources employees, post a notice of employee rights and report future complaints of national origin and religious discrimination to the EEOC.
“Individual identity is understandably often rooted in a person’s religious affiliation and ancestry,” EEOC Dallas District Office Regional Attorney Robert Canino said.
EEOC Senior Trial Attorney Joel Clark said the employees should be able to come to the workplace without fear of intimidation or taunts based on where they are from or what religion they observe.