Minnesota Company’s Strength Test For Female Drivers Struck Down
Minneapolis (KROC AM News) - A Minnesota-based trucking company has been found to be in violation of federal law for discriminating against female drivers.
The reason? A strength test it used to screen potential female drivers.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has announced a federal judge found Stan Koch & Sons Trucking “violated federal law by using a strength test developed by Cost Reduction Technologies because it discriminates against women truck drivers.”
The EEOC filed a federal lawsuit after failing to reach a settlement with the company.
According to the lawsuit, Koch’s use of the CRT test ( a strength test developed by Iowa-based Cost Reduction Technologies) discriminated against women truck drivers because of their sex. Specifically, the EEOC alleged that the CRT test disproportionately screened out women who are qualified for truck driver positions at Koch.
The alleged conduct violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits workplace
discrimination, including the use of employment practices that have a disparate impact on women because of their sex and that are not job-related and consistent with business necessity.
The EEOC says the judge agreed with its contention that the test disproportionately screened out women who had been given conditional offers of hire by Koch to work as truck drivers or who were already employees and were required to take the test to return to work following an injury. In addition, the judge found that Koch did not present evidence to show that the test was job-related and consistent with business necessity.
The EEOC is now entitled to relief for a class of women applicants who were rejected because they failed the CRT test. The amount of monetary damages owed to the women by Koch will be determined in further proceedings. The EEOC will also seek an injunction preventing Koch from continuing to use the test.
Koch, headquartered in Minneapolis, is a family-owned trucking company with over 1,000 trucks that operates nationally and on regional and local routes.
“Employers are allowed to use hiring screens and they are allowed to use physical abilities testing, when appropriate,” said Julianne Bowman, the EEOC's district director in Chicago. “However, when a hiring screen has disparate impact on female applicants and employees, like the CRT test did at Koch, employers need to take a hard look at whether they can prove those tests are job-related and consistent with business necessity. The fact that a job requires some physical strength will not, by itself, justify the use of any particular physical ability test; the test has to actually fit the physical requirements of the job or be shown to predict an important job outcome. This case should serve as a reminder to employers of the importance of having a professionally designed, rigorous study showing a clear relationship between performance on a test and the employer’s job.”
Gregory Gochanour, the EEOC’s regional attorney in Chicago, added, “The women who failed the CRT test were qualified, experienced truck drivers who had successfully worked at other companies but were prevented from working at Koch, in effect, because of their gender. One of the priorities for EEOC is removing artificial barriers to employment, like the test used in this case, so we are very pleased with the court’s decision finding that the test was not job-related and consistent with business necessity.”
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