A Missouri trucking company, one of America’s largest, was sued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission back in 2011 over their alleged unfair hiring policies for prospective female employees.

Recently, a federal judge ruled against New Prime, stating that the company was indeed in violation of federal law and had engaged in a “pattern and practice” of workplace discrimination. The judge rendered his opinion on Monday, Aug. 18, in Springfield in the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri.

The EEOC charges stemmed from Prime’s earlier policy to only have female drivers training with other female trainers. This limited the access of women drivers to jobs while also delaying their hiring, as fewer females were employed as trainers.

The company adopted the policy in question in 2003 after another EEOC lawsuit was filed. The focus of that litigation was sexual harassment alleged by a woman who was a driver trainee for New Prime.

The company attempted to have the judge dismiss the newest EEOC suit, saying that they cooperated fully with the commission during all phases of the litigation history. The women-training-women policy was suspended in March of last year.

According to the EEOC, New Prime is responsible for preventing sexual harassment by enforcing anti-discrimination laws already in place and training their employees on what is allowable and forbidden under the law. They should not segregate men from women in order to solve the problem.

The case will continue and “proceed with determining damages and remedies for the class of women who were harmed by the policy,” according to the EEOC commission.

When faced with employment discrimination, it can be confusing to know what to do. A Missouri employment law attorney is one resource to help workers navigate the channels of the EEOC.

Source: The Kansas City Star, “Trucking company discriminated against women drivers, ruling says” Diane Stafford, Aug. 19, 2014