A federal district court has ordered Lufkin Industries, the East Texas oilfield and industrial equipment manufacturer, to pay more than $3 million in back wages to a group of approximately 900 employees who claim they were victims of race discrimination.
Judge Ron Clark of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas also ordered the company to pay prejudgment interest at 5% per annum, calling the rate the “reasonable and fair under all of the circumstances of the case.”
Clark found that Lufkin violated both Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1866 Civil Rights Act from 1994 through 2004.
The court, which will supervise injunctive relief for five years, appointed a business professor to examine Lufkin’s current employment practices and make recommendations.
Clark also cleared the way for employees to file a motion claiming that Lufkin is liable for additional discriminatory practices alleged to have occurred from 2005 through 2007.
Advice: Be proactive and root out discrimination before employees sue. The last thing any employer wants is continual monitoring by a federal court.
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