Woman on offshore drilling rig sues after being asked to share cabin with men

Michelle Keahey Dec. 27, 2011, 2:43am

A woman assigned to work on an offshore drilling rig has filed a lawsuit against her employer that claims she was wrongfully terminated after she refused to share a room with a member of the opposite sex.

Claiming gender and religious discrimination, Amy Jones filed suit against Pride International Inc., Ensco Offshore Co. and Ensco P.L.C. on Dec. 22 in federal court in New Orleans.

According to the lawsuit, Jones was terminated from her employment on Aug. 12, 2010 for failure to share a room with men, which she states was a safety issues, sexual discrimination and a moral and religious issue.

Jones was sent to South Korea to assist in the commissioning of an offshore drilling rig in June 2010. The next month, she claims she was assigned to a cabin with male employees.

"This assignment was dangerous, discriminatory, against Plaintiff's religious and moral values, sexually discriminating, and could have left Complainant exposed to attack, and even death, if found living in quarters with another male for whom she was not married under the laws of various countries," the lawsuit states.

As a result of her refusal to stay in a private room with a male employee, she states she was told that she could not go on sea trials on the drilling rig.

The defendants are accused of negligence for failing to provide a reasonably safe place to work, failing to take precautions for the safety of Jones while aboard the drilling rig, failing to provide minimum safety requirements, failing to provide adequate housekeeping policy on board the M/V Deep Ocean Clarion, wrongful termination based on discriminatory conduct, and sexual and religious discrimination.

The plaintiff is asking for an award of approximately $1.9 million in damages for wrongful termination, past and future wage loss, attorney's fees, loss of enjoyment of life, stress, humiliation, lack of respect, emotional distress, loss of self-esteem, punitive damages, interest and court costs.

Jones is represented by Metairie attorney Robert T. Myers. A jury trial is requested.

Case No. 2:11-cv-03140

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