Supreme Court Rules in Favor of CRST in EEOC Case

The U.S. Supreme Court issued a unanimous ruling on May 19, 2016, in favor of CRST Van Expedited, a division of CRST International, who is seeking to recover millions in legal fees spent defending itself from an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission-brought lawsuit. The Supreme Court order reverses a decision made by the U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, who ruled against CRST’s collection of attorney’s fees in the case. The 8th Circuit decision vacated two rulings by lower courts that said the EEOC owed CRST $4.7 million in legal fees. CRST appealed the decision and ultimately prevailed in the case’s last stop: The U.S. Supreme Court.

The final dollar amount owed to CRST has not been decided. Further adjudication will determine how much the EEOC must pay CRST. Two prior orders made by lower Federal Courts, however, determined the carrier is owed nearly $5 million in attorney’s fees and court costs.

The case stems from a lawsuit brought against CRST in 2007 by the EEOC. The commission charged that the carrier violated Title VIII provisions by allowing male instructors to train new female drivers while sharing a truck, saying the practice created a hostile work environment. Several women reported being sexually harassed by their male trainers.

All of the claims brought by the EEOC were eventually dismissed in court. A U.S. District Court in Iowa ruled the EEOC failed to show reasonable cause against CRST. The court also showed CRST made good faith efforts to conciliate the claims brought by its driver trainees.

The EEOC, following several other court stops, eventually withdrew its claims for all but one plaintiff, who settled her case for $50,000.

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