Statoil lawsuit (re Human Rights Advisor)
Snapshot: In 2010, Statoil's Human Rights Advisor filed a lawsuit against the company alleging the company had made false promises and misrepresentationts about the Advisor position, which she had relied on in accepting the job. In 2012, the plaintiff and Statoil reached an out of court settlement.
On 17 August 2010, Statoil's Human Rights Advisor filed a lawsuit against the company alleging the company had made false promises and misrepresentations about the Human Rights Advisor position, which she had relied on in accepting the job and forgoing another opportunity. Specifically, she alleges that: (1) she was assured the job would involve the chance to develop and implement human rights policies for the company’s overseas operations, including the implementation of human rights risk assessments (HRRAs); and (2) she was assured that the job was more than a “public relations” role. After working at her job for a year, the plaintiff claims that the majority of her duties consisted of external public relations matters, and claims that her attempts to implement HRRAs and human rights training programmes for the company’s overseas business operations were thwarted by her superiors. She alleges that the corporate structure of Statoil made it impossible for her to implement the human rights policies she thought she was hired to develop and institute. The plaintiff also claimed that her working environment became extremely stressful and impacted her health; she has been on medical leave since April 2009.
The lawsuit was filed in US federal court in California. The plaintiff claimed she was subject to fraud and deceit and that the company breached California labour law. Statoil has responded to the allegations by rejecting them as “unfounded and incorrect”. Statoil further stated that it takes its human rights responsibilities very seriously. It is a founding member of the UN Global Compact. In October 2012 the plaintiff and Statoil reached an out-of-court settlement.
- "Lov og rett i Statoil ASA" [“Law and Justice at Statoil”], Simen Sætre, Morgenbladet [Norway], 3 Sep 2010 [available in Norwegian only]
- “Til sak mot Statoil” [“An action against Statoil”], Kristin Jonassen Nordby, Aftenposten [Norway], 3 Sep 2010 [available in Norwegian only]
- “Jeg ble syk av å jobbe i Statoil” [“I got sick from working for Statoil”], Toril Risholm, Aftenbladet [Norway], 1 Sep 2010 [available in Norwegian only]
- “Statoil tilbakeviser alle påstander” [“Statoil refutes all allegations”], Aftenbladet [Norway], 1 Sep 2010 [available in Norwegian only]
- Paul Hoffman & Michael Seplow [counsel for plaintiff]: [PDF] “Human Rights Advisor Sues Norwegian Oil Company Over False Rrepresentations About its Commitment to Respecting Human Rights”, 17 Aug 2010
- [PDF] Complaint for Damages, in US District Court, Northern District of California, 17 Aug 2010