After earning the prized CDL A, we strike out on the road with a veteran of the industry who’s supposed to show us the ropes and teach us how we’ll be living for the foreseeable future. We place our trust in them to do it well. Kathleen Robledo started out her career in trucking just like all of us do; with a driver trainer. Since she was hired by Central Refrigerated Service Inc, her trainer was a Company driver for them. Somewhere between Utah, where she had been trained, and Texas, the site where she would pick up her first load, something happened.
According to court documents, at some point in the trip her trainer called her back into the sleeper portion of the cab and showed her a “pornographic/sexually explicit video on his computer.” That right there was enough for a sexual harassment lawsuit that could have gotten the trainer fired, and a hefty settlement for Ms. Robledo, but like many women drivers, she decided not to make a fuss and just keep her head down. When she arrived in Texas, she informed the company about the incident and asked to be assigned to a different trainer. Not only did the Central Refrigerated not act on the information, but they actually told her trainer about the complaint against him. They were sent back out on the road together.
During the drive the trainer “yelled at and belittled (Robledo) for being upset at his actions and for complaining to the home office.” When Robledo stood up for herself, the trainer kicked her out of the truck and drove away. When she called Central Refrigerated and told them what happened, they sent a female driver to pick her up. Robledo ended up filing a written complaint with the company and then while driving with the female driver filed a complaint with Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. When the female driver found out what she had done, she abandoned her, taking her belongings, and leaving her with nothing but the clothes on her back.
Robledo was then notified that her there was no longer an open position for her at the company. Robledo is seeking damages for back pay; reinstatement to her prior job and position; front pay, including employment benefits; compensatory damages, including economic losses, emotional pain and suffering; attorney’s fees and court costs.
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