Dallas, Texas (WiredPRNews.com) — Dallas employment lawyer Steve Kardell today filed a petition for declaratory judgment in Collin County District Court on behalf of his client, Harold Lewis, and other potential company witnesses.
Defendants are global energy company Nexen Inc., (located in Calgary, Canada), Nexen USA (its U.S. subsidiary), and the Nexen Audit and Conduct Review Committee. The petition seeks a judgment declaring that certain company-mandated confidentiality agreements are void and unenforceable.
Mr. Kardell’s client, a former employee of Nexen USA, recently filed a Charge of Discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”).
The Charge alleges that Nexen, along with its temporary employment agencies, tolerates a racially discriminatory and abusive environment in its offshore operations, utilizing contract employees to avoid the application of US discrimination laws.
Subsequent to the EEOC filing, Nexen demanded return of all company documents, utilizing a confidentiality agreement routinely used to protect trade secrets in the drilling and exploration industry as the basis for the demand.
Kardell’s filing seeks a determination under Texas law that employees have a right to submit relevant documents to an appropriate law enforcement agency, in this case the EEOC, without the threat of disciplinary enforcement of the confidentiality agreement.
Kardell seeks a determination that Nexen’s confidentiality agreements are void and unenforceable for purposes of preventing his client and other Nexen employees, both current and former, from submitting relevant documents to the EEOC in its investigation. Kardell notes, “This is an important issue for many employees who have entered into confidentiality agreements with their employers and the outcome of this litigation could impact many individuals.”