New Prime Trucking Inc. is one of the nation’s largest trucking companies. They are based out of St. Louis Missouri. They are one of the most successful in providing refrigerated, flatbed, and liquid bulk tanking trucking services throughout North America. Prime was recently ordered by the U.S. District Court of Missouri (EEOC v. New Prime Trucking, Inc. Civil Action No. 6:11-CV-03367 MDH) to pay over $3.1 million and will also make job offers to women who were victims of the company’s unlawful discriminatory hiring policy.
Prime, Inc. violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by engaging in a pattern or practice of discrimination when it denied employment opportunities to women through its same-sex trainer policy. The same-sex trainer policy came about in 2004 when Prime, Inc. was found in a previous lawsuit to have violated Title VII based upon the sexual harassment of one of their female driver trainees. The present suit was filed in 2011 by Deanna Roberts Clouse due to its unlawful same-sex policy which forced female trainees to wait extended periods of time for training. Because Prime had very few female trainers, its same-sex trainer policy resulted in most female driver trainees to be denied employment. Prime ceased using its same-sex trainer policy in 2013 as a result of the EEOC’s suit against them.
On May 27, 2016, the Court ordered that Prime not discriminate on basis of sex; shall not create barriers for female driver applicants or employees; shall not adopt a same-sex trainer policy again; and, that Prime give priority hiring consideration to the class members and make them immediately eligible for benefits without a waiting period.
The regional attorney of the EEOC’s St. Louis District office, Andrea G. Baran, said, “When women break into male-dominated fields, they are often trained by men. We should not expect that these women will be sexually harassed. It is disrespectful to men everywhere to assume that they will harass women if they work together in close quarters. Rather, employers have a responsibility to adopt strict anti-harassment policies and practices and enforce them so that all employees – regardless of sex- can work and succeed together.”