Posted On: March 30, 2009 by Peter M. LaSorsa

Basic Energy Settles EEOC Sexual Harassment and Retaliation Lawsuit For $250,000

Basic Energy Services, L.P. agreed to pay $250,000 and consented to substantial injunctive relief to settle a sex discrimination and retaliation suit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"), the agency announced today. The EEOC charged in its suit that the Midland, Texas-based company, a major oil well servicing contractor, had discriminated against a former field attendant because of her sex and then fired her because she complained about a discriminatory promotion denial and sexual harassment.

It is alleged that Basic Energy Services denied Tawnya Smith, who worked for the company as a field disposal attendant, a promotion to field supervisor in 2006 because of her gender. Further, the EEOC asserted, Smith also was subjected to months of sexual harassment by her immediate supervisor, Roger Caldwell. After Smith filed a charge of discrimination with the EEOC and made an internal complaint about the sexual harassment, the suit said, the company terminated her in March 2007 in retaliation.

The EEOC’s suit was resolved by a consent decree, which was signed by Judge Tom Stagg on March 6, 2009 and entered into the record of U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana on March 6, 2009.


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Although the company denied wrongdoing, it agreed to pay Tawnya Smith $250,000 in damages. Basic Energy also agreed to post and disseminate new or revised anti-discrimination and anti-retaliation policies and have many of its corporate officers and managers undergo annual training on sex discrimination and the anti-retaliation provisions of Title VII. The company will also develop and implement a recruiting and/or job training program designed to increase a pool of female candidates for promotion in all the company’s Ark-La-Tex Division field positions, excluding those positions typically held by females, for the decree’s three-year term. The company also agreed to report its compliance with the decree terms to the EEOC

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