EEOC suit alleges Prime lax in response to sexual harassment claim

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Updated Jun 18, 2018

Prime Inc., one of the U.S.’ largest trucking companies, has been sued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, who claims the fleet was negligent in preventing the sexual harassment of one of its female drivers.

A Prime Inc. spokesperson says the company does not comment on pending litigation. Prime is based in Springfield, Missouri, and operates more than 6,000 trucks, according to CCJ Top 250 research. The company is one of the largest trucking fleets in the country, ranking No. 15 in the CCJ Top 250.

In a lawsuit filed this week, the EEOC alleges that Prime violated federal protections against sexual harassment by allowing one of its independent contractors, Eric Weekley, to continue driving with female co-drivers after being accuses of sexually harassing a female driver trainee.

EEOC says Prime stopped using Weekley as a trainer, but still allowed female drivers to work as a co-driver with him. According to a press release from the EEOC, Prime driver Melinda Huerta drove with Weekley for six weeks, and during that time he “continually talked about sex in graphic and violent terms and told Huerta she would lose her job and CDL if she reported his behavior,” the EEOC says. “Prime allowed the match but did not warn Huerta about Weekley’s past misconduct or warn Weekley that he must not harass Huerta.”

The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court in the Western District of Missouri.