A South Carolina waste and recycling collection company has settled a lawsuit with a female trucker who claimed it violated federal law through sex discrimination. The driver accused the company of denying employment due to her sex.
In March, Bluffton, S.C.-based American Pride Waste Solutions agreed to pay Christina Rivers $32,500 to end a civil suit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission one year ago. Terms of the settlement also include measures to ensure discrimination does not occur within the company.
In April 2018, the EEOC filed a claim that American Pride violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title I of the Civil Rights Act of 1991. In an attempt to correct unlawful employment practices on the basis of sex, the complaint alleges American Pride denied Rivers employment opportunity due to her sex.
In April 2016, Rivers completed an employment application for American Pride seeking a job as a truck driver, according to the complaint. Rivers was tipped off by an acquaintance who was employed by American Pride that the company was looking to hire drivers. Rivers had previous experience as a part-time truck driver for another company hauling waste material.
After a week of not hearing back from the company, Rivers returned to the office to check on the application. The receptionist told her someone would contact her. No one did. Despite weekly attempts to contact a hiring manager, Rivers was never able to speak to a hiring official.
A few weeks after completing the application, Rivers ran into the father of the acquaintance that told her about the job opportunity. He told her that American Pride has never hired any female truck drivers.
Eventually, Rivers’ application was rejected. Subsequently, American Pride hired several male applicants.
In January 2018, the EEOC issued American Pride a letter of determination which found reasonable cause of Title VII violations. The letter invited the company a chance of conciliation through informal methods. With no response about a month later, the EEOC sent the company a Notice of Failure of Conciliation. The complaint was filed a few months after.
In addition to the $32,500 payout to Rivers, American Pride must meet the following conditions as part of the settlement:
- Cannot discriminate against any applicant or employee on the basis of their gender.
- Cannot discriminate or retaliate against any applicant or employee because of their opposition to any practice made unlawful under Title VII, including filing charges, giving testimony/assistance or participating in an investigation.
- Within 90 days, adopt, implement and distribute a formal, written anti-discrimination policy; said policy must be visible to employees at all locations.
- Provide an annual training program to all managers, supervisors and employees, including the requirements of Title VII and its prohibition against gender discrimination.
- Provide the EEOC with reports every six months, which should include list of all female applicants for employment as truck drivers and detailed outline of those applicants not hired.
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