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CRST court win being appealed by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

CRSTThe U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is appealing a federal court order to pay CRST Van Expedited nearly $4.7 million.

The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals has given the EEOC until Nov. 12 to file a brief contesting a federal district court’s judgment to compensate the Iowa truckload carrier for attorney fees, out-of-pocket expenses and taxable costs. On Oct. 1, the agency filed a notice of appeal over what has been described as one of the largest sanctions in EEOC history.

Chief Judge Linda Reade of the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Iowa had issued the Aug. 1 award after concluding agency was unable to prove the company demonstrated a pattern tolerating sexual harassment.

In 2007, the EEOC filed in district court against the carrier after alleging 270 women were sexually harassed in its new driver training program and subject to a hostile work environment. The court dismissed 203 claims, then rejected the remaining claims after ruling the agency failed to show reasonable cause and a good faith offer to conciliate claims.

The EEOC then appealed 107 of the claims, but the 8th circuit affirmed the lower court’s ruling on all but two individual claims. Later, the EEOC withdrew its claim on behalf of one plaintiff and the other case was settled for $50,000.


Here again the court finds for the company. They pay the lions share of taxes and the driver is just a POS in the courts eye. Same thing with landlords. Trucking companies must place team drivers with the like to prevent issues like this. Saves money and makes a driver happy.


As a female driver who has been driving over 30 years, this is very disturbing.  There IS sexual harassment in trucking.  Has been for years.  It was the subject of a story I was featured in in 1976 when a reporter saw me slap another driver who was making very sexual remarks in the old truckstop in Fresno in 1975.  That lead to a three page article-"The Plight of the Woman Trucker" published in 1976.


When I first learned to drive in 1973, I pulled doubles for a union company up and down the coast of CA.  No harassment there other than a lot of teasing and nit piking by some of the older guys.  The younger ones were my friends who taught me how to drive. It was an easy job and I ran by myself.  Didn't have to do much other than drive straight up I-5 or the 101 to Santa Clara.


But when I was laid off from my cushy union job, I started to run team hauling produce.  The first driver I was teamed with was absolutely fantastic.  Old enough to be my father-had a daughter just about my age.  HE taught me a lot.  The only thing ever mentioned was why I wanted to do this because it was very unusual back in 1974. He told me I should find a good man and stay home and have babies.  Oh well.


The second driver I was teamed with-it was truly a situation of "put out or get out".  S*** you, I got out.  Called the first guy I was teamed with, asked him what to do.  He spoke to the boss, told the boss I could handle it by myself and so they made arrangements to get me back to LA and gave me my own truck.  From there is history.


But how in the h*** would I have proven that???  The driver who forced me into the situation to get out of the truck in Fort Worth DENIED it ever happened.  Of course he did.


Even in this day and age, that "put out or get out" mentality still lives in a lot of drivers.  I STILL run into it on occasion, although now I OWN the trucks, so it comes from a different perspective and isn't a true physical threat.  I am a firm believer in women driving trucks obviously. The real question is how to get them trained and prevent sexual harassment. 


Can't insist on putting all females with women trainers because: 1.  There are not enough females willing to train other females  2.  I have heard stories from female drivers about sexual harassment from gay female trainers which would be worse in my mind than harassment from a male.


So how do we solve the problem?  And how do women PROVE they have been sexually harassed in a truck cab when no one else is around and you KNOW the trainer is going to DENY, DENY, DENY???


A true conundrum of the 21st Century.


Many cell phones these days have the ability to record audio.  If you have a female driver being sexually harassed have her record it on her cell phone. Another option would be to have her call in, without the other driver knowing, and leave the call connected while she remains silent and the other driver harass' her.  Don't know if these methods would stand up in court or not, you would need to consult a local attorney for that.