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Prime’s same-sex trainer policy discriminates against women, court says

| August 15, 2014

primeA U.S. district court has agreed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s determination that the same-sex trainer policy of Prime Inc. (No. 17, CCJ Top 250) is discriminatory.

On Aug. 14, the Springfield, Mo. federal court ruled against the policy the company instituted in 2004 after a sexual harassment case was filed by three female truckers. Prime has 6,700 company drivers and owner-operators, but had fewer than five female trainers in March 2012.

U.S. Judge Douglas Harpool described the policy as “no small impediment but one which could require women to remain on the waiting list for a year or more while men faced no such delay.”

It also “removed a female applicant’s ability to make her own decision with regard to any alleged safety or privacy concerns she may or may not encounter with the potential job,” he wrote. 


EEOC files discrimination suit against Prime

Commission has sued Prime Inc. over allegations the carrier discriminated against female driver applicants.

Prime’s corporate counsel and the attorney representing the company in the case did not immediately return requests for comment. 

In July 2009, Deanna Roberts Clouse filed a sex discrimination claim with the Missouri Commission on Human Rights, which was later transferred to the EEOC. The commission then attempted to settle the issue without litigation before filing complaint with the court in 2011. 

Paul Taylor, Clouse’s attorney, said Harpool had denied the company’s motion for a determination that it was not liable for punitive damages. Taylor said the case still may go to trial to determine damages Clouse and the class members represented by EEOC could recover.

  • Paul Taylor

    That issue was not address, nor is it an issue in the case. The issue was Prime’s policy with respect to applicants and whether they were permitted to be trained by someone of the opposite sex. The case does not address whether a trainer can be forced to train a woman.

  • localnet

    You have a future career in “stirring the pot”. I hear Al Sharpton is looking for a few good “men” in Ferguson MO.

  • Chuck Onsum

    I disagree with you Tom. This is not a mans world. I taught my late ex-wife to drive in 1981 because she wanted to spend more time with me. Although I am retired now if I were still driving I would rather be sleeping behind her then at least 90% of the drivers out there today. She was courteous. respectful, truthful, and every bit a lady. All 5′ 1″, 105 pounds of her. She was taught to drive the way I told her and not the way I did, as I had 29 years of bad habits and she was not going to start with my bad habits. strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.