INDIANAPOLIS — The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced Friday, Sept. 30, that it has filed suit against Gypsum Express Ltd., headquartered in Baldwinsville, New York, for sex discrimination in hiring, as well as retaliation and constructive discharge involving two former recruiters.
Gypsum Express provides truck-transportation services and currently has terminals in Pennsylvania, New York, Kentucky, Ohio, Virginia, Indiana, Georgia, South Carolina and Illinois.
In its lawsuit, the EEOC charged that, since at least 2014, Gypsum Express has engaged in a nationwide pattern or practice of hiring discrimination against female applicants for flatbed driver positions because of sex, including having a formal same-sex trainer/trainee policy for a period of time. The EEOC alleges the policy precluded recruiters from hiring inexperienced female applicants for driver positions because Gypsum Express “did not employ any female trainers and was unwilling to pair female trainees with male trainers.”
The EEOC further alleged that hiring officials, other management and supervisory employees, human resources personnel, and recruiters expressly stated sex-based criteria for flatbed driver positions.
The EEOC also charged that Gypsum Express subjected a former recruiter to retaliatory discharge for opposing the trucking company’s discriminatory hiring practices and forced another recruiter to engage in discriminatory hiring practices, which “adversely affected her terms, conditions or privileges of employment, forcing her to quit.”
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits, among other things, using sex-based criteria in employment and retaliation against employees who oppose sex discrimination.
After first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its administrative conciliation process, the EEOC filed its lawsuit (EEOC v. Gypsum Express, Ltd., Case No. 2:22-cv-00119) in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, Covington Division.
The agency seeks lost wages, pecuniary and non-pecuniary compensatory damages, along with punitive damages, as well as a permanent injunction and ongoing reporting and monitoring procedures to ensure that Gypsum Express complies with the law in the future.
“This case demonstrates the EEOC’s ongoing commitment to remedying class-wide sex discrimination and eliminating barriers in recruitment and hiring,” Kenneth Bird, regional attorney of the EEOC’s Indianapolis District Office, said. “Hiring must be based on the individual’s ability to do the job, regardless of sex.”
Michelle Eisele, director of the EEOC’s Indianapolis District Office, said, “Retaliation against employees who oppose discrimination they observe in the workplace cannot be tolerated. The EEOC is committed to seeking relief for workers who speak up against their employer’s discriminatory conduct.”
For more information on sex-based discrimination, visit https://www.eeoc.gov/sex-based-discrimination.
The case is being litigated by the Louisville Area Office, which is part of the EEOC’s Indianapolis District, with jurisdiction over Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan and parts of Ohio.
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