Photo: Illustration, oil workers; Source: Schlumberger

Report: Woman files $100M sexual harassment lawsuit against Schlumberger

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A woman who once worked for oilfield services giant Schlumberger has filed a $100 million lawsuit against the company for alleged sexual harassment, sex discrimination, and physical danger.

According to reports from several Houston media outlets like the Chronicle and the Houston Business Journal, former Schlumberger employee Sara Saidman stated in the lawsuit that the company turns “a blind eye to the pattern of sexual harassment, sex (gender) discrimination, and physical danger that women are subjected to” while working on oil rigs.

The Houston Business Journal reported in an article that a Schlumberger spokesman claimed that the company had not been served with the lawsuit yet.

The lawsuit further claims that women who do work on rigs are required to share living quarters — or a bedroom — with men who work on the rig, “creating an environment that invites harassment and discrimination of women“.

The lawsuit also alleges that formal complaints of discrimination or harassment are ignored or dismissed as “oil field talk” or “a joke“. Saidman stated in the lawsuit that women were allegedly often “blacklisted” by the HR department.

Saidman also claims that male colleagues with whom she shared a trailer and bedroom on one site allegedly encouraged other men who worked on the rig to break into her room at night and ignore if she did not consent to sexual activity.

The lawsuit also alleges other instances of sexist comments, one instance in which she was groped, and other negative events.

The Houston Business Journal also stated that Saidman began her career with Schlumberger as a measurements-while-drilling field engineer in May 2016 and that Schlumberger terminated Saidman’s employment in May 2017 due to Schlumberger’s claims of policy infractions.

It is worth noting that the lawsuit also includes many nonspecific accounts from other unnamed women who worked for Schlumberger and alleged similar behaviour from colleagues and superiors. The lawsuit asks the court to certify the case as a class-action lawsuit to represent all women who served or currently serve as nonmanagerial employees of Schlumberger in the field at rigs in the United States.

The lawsuit seeks an award of damages under Title VII, including back pay, front pay – instead of reinstatement, compensatory damages, and punitive damages in an amount not less than $100 million. The lawsuit was filed with a federal court in Houston.

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