Three employees of Midland-based crude oil producer Blue Ridge Resources have agreed to settle a national-origin harassment lawsuit against the company.
All three employees are of Mexican descent. One is an American citizen and the other two are longtime legally documented workers.
They claimed their boss regularly called them “wetbacks” and “dirty Mexicans” despite being of Mexican ancestry himself. They said the supervisor referred to himself as “Wetback Killer” and frequently refused to allow the men access to water while working in the West Texas oil fields, answering their pleas by stating, “Wetbacks don’t need no water.”
The settlement came on the second day of a trial, just before the matter was to be sent to the jury. Blue Ridge Resources will pay the three men $43,000 for failing to train the supervisor and investigate the men’s complaints.
Under the terms of the settlement agreement, the company must:
- Revise its discrimination policy to include national-origin harassment, as well as procedures to ensure that employee complaints are addressed while providing multiple avenues for reporting violations
- Conduct annual training on national-origin harassment in the workplace, and procedures for investigating complaints
- Post an anti-discrimination policy notice—in English and Spanish—at its office and shop.