EEOC seeks full panel rehearing in CRST case

By Clarissa Kell-Holland, Land Line staff writer | 5/10/2012

The U.S. Equal Employment Commission notified the U.S. Court of Appeal for the Eighth Circuit on May 9, that it is seeking a rehearing before the all of the members of the court in its workplace sexual harassment case against CRST Van Expedited Inc. of Cedar Rapids, IA.

Justine Lisser, of the EEOC’s office of communications and legislative affairs, told Land Line on Thursday, May 10, that the agency is “seeking en banc review, relying on the rehearing petition (the)  EEOC filed on April 9.”

The appellate court usually sits in panels of three. When all of the members of a court hear an argument, they are sitting en banc.  

On Tuesday, May 8, the federal appeals court largely affirmed its earlier ruling in the EEOC’s class action lawsuit against CRST, ruling that the agency must investigate each driver’s claim and seek a “conciliation” process to resolve each dispute before it can file a class action lawsuit.

However, the same panel reversed its earlier ruling that the EEOC pay CRST nearly $4.5 million in attorneys’ fees and expenses.

 In 2007, the EEOC filed a class action lawsuit that included 270 drivers against CRST, alleging that the company failed to provide a workplace free of sexual harassment.

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