Oil field services company sued for harassing a gay employee

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The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is suing an oil field services company, alleging a gay worker was harassed at the company’s North Dakota location. The lawsuit filed Thursday in federal court claims Wyoming-based Rocky Mountain Casing Co. allowed the harassment of Michael Allyn, who worked as a driver at the company’s Williston facility from January 2011 to April 2015. The EEOC says this is the first lawsuit it has brought in North Dakota that deals with harassment over sexual orientation.

Among other things, the complaint alleges that male co-workers used offensive and homophobic slurs, defaced company vehicles with sex-based remarks about Allyn and painted a truck that Allyn was known to use with pink polka dots, hearts and rainbows. Employees also left Allyn pornographic magazines, children’s toys, board games and gave him a hat with a Spanish slang word for homosexual on it, the complaint says.

The suit says Allyn complained about the conduct to his co-workers and to his managers but no “prompt corrective action” was taken. An attempt to reach a settlement before the lawsuit was filed was unsuccessful, the EEOC says. The complaint seeks unspecified damages and asks that the company make steps to eliminate its “sexually hostile work environment” and discrimination.

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