SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — EEOC News Release:
New Prime, Inc., one the nation’s largest trucking companies, violated federal law by discriminating against female truck driver applicants when it required that they be trained by female trainers only, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed today.
According to the EEOC’s suit, this policy resulted in qualified female applicants being placed on a waiting list due to a lack of female trainers, thus delaying or denying them employment, while New Prime provided training for male applicants without similar delay. The EEOC specifically charged that New Prime’s policy discriminated against Deanne Roberts, who filed an EEOC charge in 2009, and all similarly situated female truck driver applicants from 2003 to the present. The EEOC anticipates that New Prime will contend that it established this policy to reduce claims of sexual harassment of female trainees.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits sex discrimination in hiring and terms and conditions of employment. The EEOC filed its lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri (EEOC v. New Prime, Inc., Case No. 6:11-cv-03367) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The EEOC seeks an end to the discriminatory policy as well as back pay and other damages for the women adversely affected by this policy – a class of at least around 100 women, the EEOC believes.