In 2014, McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurants agreed to pay $1.3 million to settle an Equal Opportunity Employment Commission lawsuit that charged the company's Baltimore, Maryland, locations with discriminating against employees and applicants based on race, notes the EEOC. In 2015, the Patterson-UTI Drilling Company signed a consent decree agreeing to pay $14.5 million to settle an EEOC lawsuit that claimed the company engaged in nationwide racial discrimination in its employment practices.
The EEOC filed a lawsuit against McCormick & Schmick's in 2008 based on charges that the company violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 when its Baltimore locations refused to hire African-Americans for front-of-the-house positions, such as bartender, busser and hostess, states the EEOC. The complaint further charged that the company denied workers equal work assignments based on race, and that its website inferred that non-African American workers were preferred.
The EEOC sued the Patterson-UTI Drilling Company based on claims that the company assigned minorities to lower level jobs, did not train or promote minorities, disciplined and fired minorities disproportionately, and allowed hostile work environments on its drilling rigs, notes the EEOC. Employees of the company said they were subject to racial slurs, jokes, and verbal and physical harassment while on the job, and that the company retaliated against them when they complained. In addition to the monetary award, Patterson-UTI Drilling Company agreed to provide anti-discrimination training to all its employees, conduct random interviews to ensure discrimination does not continue, and sponsor outreach to attract qualified minority candidates.