A Texas tubing company agreed to pay $175,000 to a former employee it fired less than a month after he complained of racially offensive comments.
The recent agreement settles a lawsuit that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed against Maverick Tube Corp. in 2007 for retaliation, according to the consent decree.
Maverick Tube, which is a supplier of tubes to the energy industry, denies the allegations but entered into the settlement to avoid protracted litigation, according to the agreement.
Karen Gillen Allen, said the allegations were made by a former employee who was dismissed.
“The company has at all times vigorously denied that it violated any law or breached any obligation or duty and continues to deny it is liable in any fashion,” she said.
The EEOC alleged that Maverick Tube retaliated against Andra Williams after he reported offensive racial remarks made by the company’s safety manager. Williams reported the comments to the company president which led to an investigation.
Maverick Tube then terminated the manager, according to the EEOC.
But less than a month later, Williams was falsely accused of threatening to make another report to the president if he didn’t get a vacation request approved, according to the EEOC.
The regional human resources manager didn’t conduct an investigation into the allegation which turned out to be untrue, according to the EEOC. Instead, the human resources manager recommended that Williams be immediately fired.
“In that same e-mail, the HR manager reminded his readers that Williams had recently complained about the safety manager’s racial comments,” according to the EEOC.
As part of the agreement, Maverick Tube will provide mandatory anti-discrimination training, submit monitoring reports to the EEOC and issue a disciplinary notice to its regional human resources manager.
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