A class action filed against trucking company CRST Expedited alleges that the company permits a hostile work environment in which female drivers are sexually harassed, touched, and sometimes assaulted by male drivers, violating the Civil Rights Act and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act.
The class for this action is all women who have been employed by CRST as truck drivers and who have experienced gender discrimination, including:
CRST Expedited, Inc. is a trucking company that trains and employs long-haul truck drivers who transport goods around the country in teams of two. After students have completed a two-week course, they are required to serve a 28-day training period paired with an more experienced driver who will eventually pass or fail them according to their performance. After the training period is over, CRST will forgive the several thousand dollars the training costs if the trainees enter into an eight-month contract at the end of the training. The company maintains four dispatch centers at which drivers begin and end their runs and sometimes spend considerable time waiting for a pairing with another driver.
The complaint alleges that, both at the centers and on the road, female drivers or trainees have been sexually harassed, by such means as sexual remarks, propositioning, and the display of pornographic pictures. On the road, women have also been repeatedly harassed for sex, treated with anger or threats to not pass them when they refused, threatened with sexual violence, touched on intimate parts of their bodies, held at knifepoint, and assaulted.
When the women have complained to the company, they have been told to leave the truck, allowing the men to continue driving and earning money, while they earn nothing and are even required to spend their own money for accommodations while waiting for a company truck to come get them.
Complaints do not receive follow-up, and male drivers do not appear to suffer any penalty for any of their actions. In fact, it is the women who are penalized, by having to leave the truck and stop earning money. If the harassment become so bad that a woman feels she must quit before their eight-month contract is finished, the company will seek to charge her for the costs of her training period, regardless of what she has endured.