Seyfarth Shaw Labor and Employment partner Gerald Maatman was quoted in an April 4 Associated Press article on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's (EEOC)backfiring case against an Iowa trucking company.
The article discusses a case in which dozens of female employees of one of the nation's largest trucking companies told of being propositioned, groped and even assaulted by male drivers during cross-country training rides. However, instead of leading to a workplace discrimination judgment, the EEOC's sexual harassment lawsuit against the company backfired and put the agency on trial. The article states that the EEOC's tactics infuriated Judge Linda Reade, who said the agency used "a 'sue first, ask questions later' litigation strategy." She dismissed the case and ordered the agency to pay CRST an unprecedented $4.4 million in attorney's fees.
Jerry posits, "It is a signal by the federal courts that the tactics the EEOC has been using over the last several years may be improper."
New standards would make the EEOC first investigate the merits of every worker's claim and attempt to reach settlements. This would have to take place before filing a lawsuit on behalf of employees alleging similar discrimination. If the agency doesn't, the EEOC risks having the case dismissed.