Female truck drivers are suing after they claim that CRST ignored their sexual assault complaints to the point that they have been forced to carry weapons to protect themselves from other drivers.
Female Drivers Sue CRST
Drivers Cathy Sellars, Claudia Lopez and Leslie Fortune are the lead plaintiffs in a federal class action suit against CRST Expidited. The women say that some male drivers make inappropriate comments, ask for sex, and sexually assault them. According to the suit, “when female drivers refuse to have sex with them, male drivers retaliate, including but not limited to by kidnapping them, kicking them off shared trucks, making false reports of misconduct, threatening them with weapons, beating them or threatening beatings, spreading rumors they are prostitutes, preventing them from contacting CRST for assistance, and refusing to assist them with work-related tasks”.
The female drivers claim that CRST performs inadequate investigations into sexual assault claims and that it does not discipline the male drivers. Instead, it forbids them to drive with a female for six months by adding them to a “no females” list. When the female driver makes a complaint, says the suit, she is forced to leave the truck and to wait without pay until someone from the company can pick her up, which could take a week, even if she was driving first.
Drivers Say 8 Month Contract Traps Them
The 74-page complaint says that female student drivers “have to fend off or worry about rape by their trainer, while enduring express threats of being failed, while being objectified and told to perform sex acts”. The women claim that the 8-month contract that CRST requires in order to forgive the cost of training often means that women who experience sexual assault have three choices: to endure the abuse, to report the assault to deaf ears, or to quit and repay the cost of their training.
The women say that they had to carry knives, screwdrivers, and tasers to protect themselves from assault.
The female drivers are seeking class certification, an injunction, back pay, front pay, and general, special, and punitive damages for sexual discrimination, retaliation, and constructive discharge, in addition to costs and fees.