A Texas oil company invented a policy banning cell phones as the basis for firing two black employees who recorded white co-workers making racial slurs, oil rigaccording to a lawsuit.
Courthouse News reports that Kenneth Davis Jr. and David Hand sued Houston based Independence Contract Drilling in federal court on Friday.
Both men claim they requested a transfer to another oil rig in 2013 after being racially harassed by white co-workers. They were never transferred, a decision that, according to Davis and Hand, put their lives at risk.
Co-worker Josh Allen didn’t give them “enough time to secure equipment, and pressurized water and chemicals sprayed Davis” Courthouse News reported.
Another co-worker, Josh Faust, allegedly told Davis to “scrub harder boy”, the lawsuit alleges.
Davis and Hand decided they needed proof of the harassment as leverage for their rig transfers so they came up with a plan using their iPods to record the insults.
“The iPods recorded Allen saying that he hated living with everyone in the bunk house because he saw ‘nigger hair’ everywhere,” the complaint states.
They told their manager Bill Hays about the comments and left the devices recording a second time.
Instead of handling the white co-workers who were racially harassing them, Davis and Hand said they became targets, as the recording reveals.
“Faust stated that he ‘should throw (Davis) off the rig floor and hang him from the side of the rig. … Hays said that he did not like it when black guys came to him with ‘racial stuff’ and that he ‘was not going to point the finger at any white boys,’” and would instead try to get the two black workers fired.
In July of 2013 human resources at the Texas drilling company suspended Davis and Hand without pay.
The black workers were later fired for violating a cell phone policy which required employees to leave their phones in the car.
Hand and Davis claim that the firing was retaliatory since “virtually everyone on the job site carried a cellphone while working.” Also, the men note that iPods are not cell phones, so technically, they weren’t breaking company policy.
Source: Your Black World