Friday, February 20, 2009

Female Truck Drivers Awarded $475,000 and Jobs

This is an interesting failure to hire case and highlights ongoing discrimination against women in previously male-dominated jobs.

Do you think this case arose because of sex-based stereotyping in the truck driving industry?

Robertson Sanitation, a Phoenix-based trash hauling, recycling and disposal company operating in Georgia will pay $475,000 to settle a sex discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced this week. According to the EEOC’s suit, Jeanine Moore applied for a truck driver position with Robertson at its Winder, Ga., facility in August 2005.

Although she was more qualified than a number of male applicants who were hired, the company never even gave her an interview or an offer. Investigation of Moore’s allegations revealed that the company also rejected several other similarly qualified women.

The consent decree settling the suit provides for $475,000 in monetary relief to the class of qualified female applicants who were discriminatorily rejected for employment between January 1, 2005 and October 31, 2006. Moore will receive $70,000 in damages while the remaining funds will be distributed among the remaining qualified claimants whose eligibility will be determined by a procedure set forth in the decree.

In addition to the monetary relief, Robertson Sanitation has agreed to exercise good faith in offering employment to qualified female applicants for residential, commercial, industrial and roll-off truck driver positions at the Winder and Austell facilities. Good faith will be measured against the standard of offering employment to at least 70% of the qualified female applicants in the pool, according to the decree.

The decree requires Robertson to submit a report each year for four years identifying the name, sex and qualifications of all qualified applicants for truck driver positions, the persons offered positions, and the persons hired. Robertson shall also maintain all driver applications for the duration of the decree for inspection, and provide an explanation for each time a qualified female applicant is not offered a position. The EEOC will have the right to inspect all documents used or considered in the hiring process to review Robertson's compliance.

Robertson shall not discriminate against qualified applicants on the basis of gender, nor retaliate against any person who opposed discriminatory practices or participates in proceedings under Title VII. The decree also includes provisions for equal employment opportunity training, reporting, and posting of notices. In the suit and consent decree, Robertson Sanitation denied any liability or wrongdoing.

“We are pleased with the employer’s efforts to quickly resolve this dispute, while taking affirmative steps to remain in compliance with the law in the future,” said Robert Dawkins, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Atlanta District Office. “The decree takes into consideration the fact that Robertson hired seven female drivers after the discrimination charge was filed. The hiring goals are designed to ensure that the employer continues hiring qualified women in the future.”

The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination based on race, color, gender (including sexual harassment and pregnancy), religion, national origin, age, disability and retaliation.

Denver employment lawyer Kimberlie Ryan of The Ryan Law Firm handles sex discrimination claims for Colorado workers and can be reached by visiting her website at

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