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ND oil worker claims she was demoted and paid less for being a woman

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An oil field worker in North Dakota claims she was demoted and paid less than her male colleagues because she's a woman, and was threatened with the sack when she complained.

In a lawsuit filed by Cindy Marchello, of Utah, it says C&J Energy Services Inc. pulled her from her role as a pump operator in the Bakken oil fields after a client of the company told her boss he didn't like women working in the field, according to The Associated Press.

She was on track to make $120,000 a year, but was shifted to a desk job paying half as much, with her manager allegedly saying it was "too dangerous" and "too cold" for her in the field when she pleaded for her job back, reports note.

Business Wire reports that after being moved to her desk job, Marchello discovered she was being paid $2 an hour less than her male colleagues with the same experience and skills, and that she was not allowed to take any overtime.

The lawsuit was filed in federal district court Monday by Minneapolis-based Halunen Law, Business Wire says.

Complaint 'led to threats'

When she complained about this, she was allegedly told by a manager to "shut her mouth" if she wanted to keep her job.

She filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Bismarck Tribune reports, but after this received further verbal abuse, claiming one supervisor told her: "You will suffer a cruel, slow death at my hands."

She ended up resigning in October 2014 because she was "stressed and fearing for her health and well-being," the AP notes.

C&J Energy Services has not yet commented on the lawsuit.

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