Judge Rules Against Prime’s Same-Sex Driver Training Program
August 18, 2014
A federal court last week issued a ruling against the trucking company Prime Inc. and its same-sex training program for newly hired truck drivers.
The judge in Springfield, Missouri, said the program violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by having a policy where only men could train men as truck drivers, and only women were allowed to train women, according to the Springfield News Leader.
The case was originally filed by Deanna Roberts, now Deanna Roberts Clouse, who claimed Prime discriminated against female truck driver applicants when it required that they be trained by female trainers only.
It claimed this policy resulted in qualified female applicants being placed on a waiting list due to a lack of female trainers, delaying or denying them employment, while Prime provided training for male applicants without similar delay. Roberts Clouse was hired by Prime in 2009, but was told there would be a delay in training her because there were no female instructors available.
Prime claimed it put the policy in place to protect female drivers and ended same-sex training in 2013.
The judge denied a motion to rule on damages in the case. Such a ruling is expected later, including for how long a period Prime will have to pay back wages to the plaintiffs; some 45 may be affected.
Read more about it from the Springfield News Leader.