The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently held a “Day of Action” to address sexual violence in the trucking industry.
On April 28, the FMCSA and other agencies hosted a “Day of Action to Promote Safety and Prevent Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment in the Trucking Industry.” The virtual roundtable included members of the DOL’s Women’s Bureau as well as trucking industry stakeholders.
“The trucking industry has the potential to offer drivers a fulfilling career with good pay and benefits. However, the prevalence of sexual assault and sexual harassment is very high, serving as a major obstacle to women’s participation and retention in the sector. There is no place for this in any workplace, including the trucking industry,” the DOL said in a blog post.
The DOL says that it is working to acquire commitments from employers in the trucking industry on the following actions:
- Updating manuals, codes of conduct or other guidance within 90 days, with comprehensive sexual harassment policies and zero-tolerance policies for sexual assault and violence.
- Ensuring updated policies on sexual assault, violence and harassment are shared with all staff.
- Committing to providing comprehensive sexual harassment training to all staff on a regular basis, including board members, management, human resources, drivers, apprentices, trainees, dispatchers and instructors. Such training should be tailored specifically to the trucking industry. Through tools such as situational videos, training should also detail examples of conduct constituting sexual harassment common in the industry and the experiences survivors may face.
- Ensuring trainees, apprentices and drivers understand how to report sexual assault, violence and harassment before they get into a truck.
- Educating staff on how the company will investigate and hold perpetrators accountable, which should include the use of multiple confidential reporting channels and clear plans and timelines to investigate and act upon complaints, as well as protections from retaliation and support for survivors.
- Publicly condemning the harmful impact of sexual assault, violence and harassment on individuals in the industry and its contribution to ongoing challenges in retaining qualified drivers to move America’s goods.
According to the blog post, the Department of Transportation is also highlighting whistleblower and coercion protections for people facing sexual harassment and unsafe training conditions in its Entry Level Driver Training Program FAQ. The DOL is identifying trucking employers that have built supportive, inclusive workplaces for women by holding listening sessions with women drivers across the country.