Trucking Company Accused of Discriminating Against Women Drivers in New Lawsuit
Sioux City, IA – A new lawsuit filed last week by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) asserts an Iowa-based trucking company is discriminating against women in its driver hiring practices.
On September 26, the EEOC filed suit against Le Mars, Iowa-based Schuster Company in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa alleging the trucking company is violating federal law by using a strength test that discriminates against women truck drivers.
According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, Schuster’s use of the CRT Test, a strength test developed by Cost Reduction Technologies, Inc., discriminates against women truck drivers on the basis of their sex.
Specifically, the EEOC alleges that the CRT Test disproportionately screens out women who are qualified to operate a commercial motor vehicle.
The suit was filed, in part, after receiving a complaint from a female truck driver who says Schuster refused to hire her because she failed the CRT Test.
The EEOC says it is seeking relief for a class of women who were not hired because they failed the CRT Test and an injunction preventing Schuster from continuing to use the test.
Further, the suit asserts the use of the CRT Test violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits workplace discrimination, including the use of employment practices that have a disparate impact on women because of their sex and that are not job-related and consistent with business necessity.
The agency says it filed the suit only after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
In August, the EEOC filed a similar lawsuit against another trucking company, Stan Koch & Sons Trucking, relating to its use of the same CRT test.
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That suit is the second such legal action alleging sex discrimination the EEOC has filed against Koch this year.
The first was filed in May.
“The EEOC will take vigorous action if an employer’s selection procedure has an adverse impact on women-or any other group protected under the law,” said Julianne Bowman, the EEOC’s district director in Chicago.
She continued, “Companies must refrain from using a test causing adverse impact unless it is job-related and consistent with business necessity. Even if a test passes that standard, an employer must adopt any comparably effective alternative practices that have less adverse impact.”
Koch maintains the company has not violated any laws.
As for Schuster, the company has not yet issued a statement.
According to data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Schuster employs 458 drivers and operates 473 power units.
According to the company’s website, the 63-year-old carrier employs a total of 565 people.
Photo courtesy of Schuster Company