Companies won’t hire these women to drive trucks because of their gender, a new lawsuit says. – DIGIWIZ CENTRAL

Companies won’t hire these women to drive trucks because of their gender, a new lawsuit says.

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A new lawsuit accuses one of the US’s largest trucking companies of gender discrimination.Women were unable to start work because there weren’t enough female trainers, per the suit.The amount of women truckers is rising, but still low — they’re only about 14% of the industry.

In a new class action lawsuit, three named women allege that a trucking company either delayed their hiring processes or refused to hire them altogether because of their gender.

The women, Kim Howard, Ashli Streeter, and a third anonymous woman, applied for trucking positions at Stevens Transport between April and June 2023, according to the filing. Now, in partnership with the nonprofit REAL Women in Trucking, Peter Romer-Friedman’s law firm is filing discrimination charges against Stevens Transport to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Though the women were qualified drivers, none were hired due to the lack of female trainers at Stevens. Because the company has a same-sex-only training policy, they said they could not hire the women immediately — even though Howard and Streeter both said they would be willing to be trained by men, per the filing.

Instead, the women were placed on a monthslong “waitlist” until a woman trainer could work with them, while men could begin working almost immediately, per the filing. Per the filing, other women applying were told there was a hiring freeze for women.

Conquering the first obstacle

Romer-Friedman told Insider that same-sex training policies are one of the “greatest obstacles” for women looking for trucking jobs.

“As long as there’s been a trucking industry in America, women have been denied equal opportunity in that industry,” Romer-Friedman said. “This is an important first step to dismantling the systemic discrimination that women face in the trucking industry.”

Romer-Friedman added filing with the EEOC is the first step in a process that could lead to a federal civil rights lawsuit against Stevens Transport. He said he is optimistic that the EEOC will pursue the case.

The numbers of women truck drivers are rising slowly, but they still make up just a tiny fraction of the trucking industry.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2018, women made up just about 5.5% of the full-time “Drivers/sales workers and truck drivers” category; in 2022, they made up about 6.3% of the workforce.

Although they make up a lower percentage of the workforce, data suggest they are both safer drivers and less likely to quit their jobs, per Insider’s previous reporting.

“It’s rare to see such a well-documented case of discrimination,” Romer-Friedman said. “I’ve practiced civil rights law for the last 15 years, and I have not seen a case at the outset where the conduct appears to be so crude and blatant as here.”

Stevens Transport did not respond to a request for comment from Insider sent outside regular working hours.

Read the original article on Business Insider
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