A Minnesota trucking company has agreed to pay $500,000 as part of a settlement in a sex discrimination lawsuit after it used strength tests that screened out qualified women drivers.
Stan Koch and Sons Trucking, based in Minneapolis, revoked the job offers of women who failed isokinetic strength tests, resulting in the company discriminating against women truck drivers because of their sex, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) said in its federal lawsuit against the company.
A federal judge found Koch did not present evidence to show the CRT Test, developed by Iowa-based Cost Reduction Technologies, was job-related and consistent with business necessity, an EEOC news release said.
And Koch's use of the test disproportionately screened out women who had been given conditional job offers to work as truck drivers. It also screened out women who were already working at Koch and were required to take the CRT test to return to work following an injury,
“This case should serve as a reminder to employers that when they use a hiring screen they cannot rely on justifications like ‘It seemed like common sense’ or ‘Of course it’s better to have stronger employees if the job has some physical tasks.’ Employers have to demonstrate with valid evidence that the tests they use can actually predict the outcomes they are looking for," EEOC attorney Gregory Gochanour said in a statement.
The EEOC and Koch recently reached a settlement. A five-year consent decree resolves the federal lawsuit and requires that Koch pay $500,000 in monetary damages, as well as make job offers to women whose job offers were revoked after they failed the CRT test.
The decree also prohibits Koch from using the CRT test, and if it chooses to use other physical abilities tests that have a disparate impact on women drivers, it must first show the test is job-related for the position and consistent with business necessity.
Koch is required to make regular reports to the EEOC regarding its hiring practices for the duration of the five-year decree.
The EEOC filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Minnesota against Stan Koch and Sons Trucking after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through the EEOC's conciliation process, the release said.
The lawsuit said Koch violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits workplace discrimination, including using practices that have a disparate impact on women because of their sex and that are not job-related and consistent with business needs.
The EEOC recently won a similar case against Schuster Co., an Iowa-based trucking company, for using the same CRT test.