CRST settles lawsuit over refusal to hire driver with service dog

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Updated Mar 12, 2019

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced last week that CRST Expedited, a subsidiary of CRST International (No. 17 on the CCJ Top 250), has settled a lawsuit filed in 2017 by the federal agency on behalf of a truck driver who alleged the trucking company denied him employment because he used a service dog.

According to an EEOC press release, CRST agreed to pay $47,500 in back pay and compensatory damages to trucker Leon Laferriere, a Navy veteran who used a service dog to assist with post-traumatic stress disorder that applied for a truck driver job with the company.

CRST has not responded to CCJ inquiries about the settlement.

The lawsuit alleged that CRST “failed to accommodate, refused to hire and then retaliated against” Laferriere. EEOC alleged that he disclosed his disabilities and use of a service dog during the application process and completed the required CDL course with CRST’s partner training company but was not hired due to the company’s “no pet” policy. EEOC said that was a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Court documents in 2018 showed CRST said Laferriere didn’t have a true service dog and therefore wasn’t protected by the ADA.

In addition to the back pay and compensatory damages, the settlement also includes a consent decree that bars CRST from “refusing to hire or provide reasonable accommodations to qualified applicants and employees with disabilities in the future.”