In the midst of a huge labor shortage in the trucking industry, which is threatening to have a serious impact on multiple supply chains, a trucking company was accused of discriminating against women by implementing a strength job test that unfairly favored men. Hit with a six discrimination lawsuit, the company will now have to comply to several requirements laid out in the consent decree, including monetary damages.

truck, trucking, lawsuit, legislation, u.s., logistics
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truck, trucking, lawsuit, legislation, u.s., logistics
truck, trucking, lawsuit, legislation, u.s., logistics
truck, trucking, lawsuit, legislation, u.s., logistics
truck, trucking, lawsuit, legislation, u.s., logistics
truck, trucking, lawsuit, legislation, u.s., logistics
truck, trucking, lawsuit, legislation, u.s., logistics

The U.S. trucker shortage is nothing to joke about. We’re dealing with a record high, according to Chris Spear, President and CEO of the American Trucking Associations. Spear recently told CNN that there’s been a 30% increase compared to pre-pandemic times, when the industry was already facing a serious shortage, which is now adding up to 80,000 drivers. In these conditions, it would seem unlikely for a trucking company to intentionally leave out potential drivers, based on their gender. Yet, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed a lawsuit against a Minnesota-based trucking company, for this precise reason. Stan Koch and Sons Trucking used an isokinetic strength test, the CRT, which according to EEOC “disproportionately screened out women,” even though they were qualified for the available truck driver positions. Also, the women who were already employed by Koch had to take this test in order to return to work, after having suffered injuries. A federal judge ruled that the test had indeed screened out women, and that Koch failed to demonstrate that this test was “consistent with business necessity.” As a result of the five-year consent decree that resolved the lawsuit, the Minnesota trucking company was asked to pay $500,000 in damages, in addition to having to make job offers to the women whose jobs offers were previously revoked, based on them having failed the CRT test. Koch will no longer be able to use this particular test, and will also have to demonstrate the business necessity of any future physical abilities test it intends to use. “The court found that the use of an isokinetic strength test as an employment screen was unlawful because it had a negative impact on women and it was not shown to serve any legitimate purpose that benefited the company”, said Julianne Bowman, the EEOC's district director in Chicago.
Only a couple of months ago, the EEOC won a similar case against a trucking company in Iowa, which was using the same CRT test. As a growing number of women are finding success in this male-dominated industry, EEOC states that no “unnecessary barriers” should be held against them.

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