Why are gas prices so high? BP suit may provide partial answer — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

Why are gas prices so high? BP suit may provide partial answer

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

A woman who once earned millions each year as an oil trader for BP America has filed a sex discrimination lawsuit against the company. Alison Myers alleges BP gave a prime piece of business to a less experienced male trader and ultimately fired her when she complained.

Myers joined BP as a London-based scheduler in 1996. In 1998, she began trading crude oil, eventually joining the company’s Warrenville office in 2000, where she was a member of the West African crude oil trading bench. In 2005, she was promoted to “book leader,” in charge of West African trades.

When a book leader position opened for the company’s most lucrative account, West Texas Intermediate, Myers alleges BP did not notify her. Instead, the company promoted a male junior trader.

About the same time, BP America retroactively changed performance benchmarks used to calculate bonuses for West African crude traders. The change cut Myers’ 2006 bonus by $775,720. Myers said she earned a $5.5 million bonus in 2006 and expected to earn just as much in 2007. (That was on top of a base salary of $163,000.) When she complained, she received a bad review and was eventually fired in July 2007.

Myers seeks $2.1 million in underpaid bonuses from 2005 and 2006, plus earnings from 2007—and $250 million in punitive damages!

BP America said her lawsuit is without merit, and the company would “vigorously” fight it.

Note: Many industry players are said to be secretly hoping this suit gets settled before BP has to release details about how much oil companies compensate their best-paid employees.

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