Follow by Email

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Sexual Harassment Case Backfires on Trucking Company?

I think, Backfires MORE on the EEOC!

This is an article written by C. J. Baker of the Gibraltar Insurance group.  As previously posted, a court threw out a class action suit by the EEOC against a trucking company for sexual harassment.  The key question seems to me, instead of investigating a provable claim of a few instances at the company, the EEOC goes “trolling” for “victims” and does everything they can to pursue a class action suit!  Seems like the “mission” is to take down and destroy the company.  And I have no sympathy for anyone that participated in sexual harassment, but let’s go after the perpetrators huh? I have a related news article after her piece below. You can also click on the link to "Lubbock Online" below to see a well written full story, Dan

Sexual Harassment Case Backfires on Trucking Company

Posted by C.J. Baker on Thu, Apr 26, 2012

  Email Article  
C.J. Baker
Senior Risk Advisor Nobody wins when an employer allows Human Resources issues to devolve in the workplace.  This article details how a court in the Midwest recently threw out an EEOC class action lawsuit that accused an employer of sexual harassment. Some employers will celebrate this as a victory against an overbearing EEOC but let’s ask who won?
The female drivers were obviously wronged in a horrific way.
The male drivers will no doubt be sued individually and their ability to work will be seriously impaired.
The employer has lost many good female drivers.  With today's driver shortage, that alone is a serious issue. Also, they’ve spent $4.4 million defending themselves.  It is unlikely that they will collect that from the EEOC but even if they do, no one will be paying them back for the time and headaches.  Perhaps most dramatically, they’ve had their name muddied all over the country through articles like this [Lubbock Online].
So who wins?..... maybe the lawyers.
This situation obviously presents an extreme example.  I doubt many of your employees are behaving so terribly.  The point is that employers of all sizes are subject to unbelievable hassles and costs before their insurance company ever writes a check.

Thanks to
EEOC Seeks Rehearing for Trucker Harassment Case

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed a request for a federal appeals court to reconsider a ruling it says would hurt the EEOC's ability to pursue class-action discrimination lawsuits for more than 100 women truck drivers claiming they were sexually harassed by male drivers with an Iowa carrier, reports the Huffington Post.

The court dismissed the lawsuit in February with a 2-1 ruling, requiring the agency "to identify every affected worker, investigate their claims and seek informal settlements before suing a company," says the website. This new standard affects lawsuits filed anywhere in the federal circuit stretching from Arkansas to the Dakotas.

"The panel's unprecedented imposition of this new requirement will impede EEOC's ability to enforce ... civil rights laws in workplaces with the most widespread discrimination," EEOC lawyers stated in Monday's filing.

The harassment suit, against CRST Van Expedited Inc. in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, all started with a December 2005 complaint from driver Monika Starke, of Azle, Texas. Starke said she was paired with a driver trainer who constantly made crude sexual remarks and advances. The next driver trainer she paired with, she alleged, demanded sex in exchange for a passing grade.

The EEOC was unable to reach a settlement with CRST for Starke, so it filed a lawsuit in 2007 on behalf of all female drivers subjected to "a sexually hostile and offensive work environment."

The lawsuit was filed before the agency knew how many employees would be part of the case, the Post says. The agency ultimately identified 270 women, but only 150 showed up for depositions.

CRST said it took disciplinary action such as banning offenders from riding with females, reported the Associated Press.

The agency's tactics angered U.S. District Judge Linda Reade, reported the Post, saying the judge called them a "sue first, ask questions later litigation strategy." She dismissed the lawsuit and ordered the EEOC to reimburse the trucking company $4.4 million in legal fees in February 2010.

The appeals court largely upheld Reade's decision dismissing the case, but threw out the fee award.

No comments:

Post a Comment