The EEOC has filed suit against an oil rig construction company doing business in Texas and Mississippi. The EEOC filed suit against Signal International LLC in Gulfport, Mississippi on behalf of indian workers recruited for US work on an H-2B visa. The workers were recruited to come here to work as welders and pipefitters in Pascagoula, Mississippi and Orange, Texas. Signal says they needed the workers in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina when workers were scarce. See San Antonio Express News report. The workers came here from 2006 through 2007. The suit seeks class certification.
The suit claims discrimination based on ethnic origin and retaliation. Some of the workers began seeing lawyers in 2007 regarding their conditions. They were subjected to harsh language, unsanitary living conditions. Their living area was surrounded by a fence and the immigrants were sometimes searched before entering. In response to the workers seeing lawyers, Signal rounded up five workers and sent them home to India.
I presume the "harsh" language refers to racial epithets. Otherwise, such language would not be relevant to a lawsuit based on discrimination and retaliation.
Some workers filed suit in 2008 alleging human trafficking and racketeering. Assisted by the Southern Povery Law Center, that earlier suit is still pending.
As always, discrimination lawsuits can be problematic. But, retaliation suits are much easier for the worker to win. Employers should not take reprisal for workers seeking their rights under Title VII. That only makes the situation worse.