Women Truck Drivers File Class Action Charging Major Trucking Company with Gender Discrimination in Hiring and Training Practices
Washington, DC— October 5, 2023 — Representing three named women truck drivers and REAL Women in Trucking, the National Women’s Law Center, in partnership with co-counsel Peter Romer-Friedman Law PLLC, filed a class action hiring discrimination charge against Stevens Transport, one of the nation’s largest refrigerated trucking companies. The charge, filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, alleges that Stevens routinely refuses to hire women truck drivers, or substantially delays hiring them, because the company only allows women to train for driving positions with women trainers, and Stevens does not have enough women trainers to provide timely training to the qualified women drivers who apply. In 2014, a federal judge declared, in a case the EEOC filed against another trucking company, that requiring women to train only with women violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Yet, Stevens continues to use this discriminatory practice.
The charge describes how Kim Howard, Ashli Streeter, and a third anonymous woman driver applied for truck driver positions at Stevens Transport from April to June 2023, but they were all denied jobs due to the company’s same-sex training policy and the lack of female trainers. When Ms. Howard and Ms. Streeter, who obtained their CDL licenses this spring, told Stevens they would be willing to train with a man, they were both told that was not possible. Stevens told the third woman driver that the company did not have a start date for her, placed her on a “wait list for female starts,” and then refused to respond to her inquiries about the job. The charge details how, despite Stevens advertising immediate openings for drivers, women who contacted the company were informed of a “freeze on hiring women” and a lengthy waitlist for women who wanted to start the required training.
“Trucking companies think they’re helping women by only letting them train with women,” said Desiree Wood, President of REAL Women in Trucking, a non-profit that advocates for women truck drivers. “That’s totally wrong. Women truck drivers want an equal opportunity to train, start their careers, and earn a decent living—just like male truck drivers!”
“We know sexual harassment is a major issue in a lot of industries, including trucking, but limiting opportunities for women drivers through discriminatory policies is certainly not the way to solve the problem,” said Liz Chacko, Senior Counsel at the National Women’s Law Center, and counsel on the charge.
“Trucking companies say they want to hire more women, but in the next breath they refuse to hire women drivers because they won’t train them,” said Peter Romer-Friedman, a Principal of Peter Romer-Friedman Law PLLC, and counsel on the charge. “Same-sex training policies are unlawful and harmful to women drivers. It’s shocking to see such blatant discrimination in 2023.”
Peter Romer-Friedman, Principal and Founder of Peter Romer-Friedman Law PLLC, [email protected] or (718) 938-6132;
Jessica Baskerville, Media Associate, National Women’s Law Center, [email protected] or 202-558-5108;
Desiree Wood, President of Real Women in Trucking (available through Peter Romer-Friedman)