Driver Harassment: Drivers Won’t Be Allowed To Testify In Court

    It seems that the sexual harassment suits against CRST Van Expedited just never end. They lose, then contest and win, more suits are brought… it just goes on and on.

    The latest development in the newest long-running driver harassment case against CRST Van Expedited is that the 15 drivers who were being called as witnesses won’t be allowed to testify. So the 15 women who came forward to speak out that their driver trainers had sexually harassed them are now being told that they are not allowed to speak not only by the company that allegedly refused to respond to their complaints, but also now by the court that’s trying the case.


    The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission who is representing the plaintiff, Monika Starke, had planned to call the 15 women to provide testimony about how the company failed to provide a workplace free of sexual harassment. The decision to not allow them to speak was made because according to the judge, their testimony might cause “unfair prejudice and confusion of the issues,” and because the drivers didn’t have the same trainer or dispatcher as the plaintiff. This is basically the same as saying “yes, they were sexually harassed, but they weren’t sexually harassed by the same man… so it doesn’t count.”

    It seems that if a company has a history of employing trainers and dispatchers who exhibit this behavior, this might be some information that should be heard in court. The information alone doesn’t prove that Monika Starke was sexually harassed, but it does give some very good context and show the sort of atmosphere that she was surrounded by.

     

    Next Story: Attorney General Saves Trucker From Fire

    Source: thetrucker, landline

    { 23 comments… read them below or add one }

    RonSr February 1, 2013 at 5:54 am

    Sounds like they have this judge in their pocket, money still talks very loud, but if I were her attorney I would appeal this to the higher courts. In this case because it happened in several states it should be a federal case and all witnesses should be heard regardless of how big the payoff to this judge was.

    Reply

    jack February 1, 2013 at 7:34 am

    you guys needs to stop playing with each other and watch the road.Is this the end result when you pulll beside each other and look at each other for miles and hold traffic back.

    Reply

    Eyes of Blue February 1, 2013 at 7:56 am

    This is why I have requested and received female trainers. One of my roommates has had a horrible time with two male trainers at two different companies. No, not CRST.

    Reply

    larry February 1, 2013 at 8:14 am

    this will be the beginning of women only being assigned to women trainers. leaving many women sitting at home for months at a time waiting on a trainer.

    Reply

    Henry February 1, 2013 at 8:41 am

    Its a shame that nowadays with the current economy the way it is women have to go through so much just to have a job and men are taking advantage of that and or some women exaggerate and think that they’re being harassed when in fact the trainer might be just friendly who knows but I hope it pans out.

    Reply

    Kurt February 1, 2013 at 9:39 am

    Some of these male trainers are horn dogs. A lot of these women are Ugly

    Reply

    David Norton February 1, 2013 at 9:49 am

    This is a big problem in the trucking indusrty drivers are abused by laws that protect the company I’ve been driving for 40 yrs and this is the worst its ever gotten exapecially with this new CSA crap it puts all the blame on the driver. Its very hard to get help if you’re a driver some states evan have capps on what you can do to these companys .I leased a truck to CRST. flatbed division and was told they where a 100% owner- op company wich come to find out was a lie they have gold truck which are company so I pulled my truck and left .

    Reply

    Jim O'Brien February 1, 2013 at 9:59 am

    If a woman applicant has to give it a little more time to be safe, wouldn’t that be a good idea? Why rush it? If a driver goes to a community college, it takes 2 years to get the CDL, vs. a month or so at a private driving academy. Avoiding the difficult events of harassment, especially in a micro-environment, the cab of a semi, makes sense to me. I don’t see male trainers and drivers getting any more enlightened any time soon. There are a lot of cool males in our profession, good people, but there are a lot of idiots, as well. It’s a statement on American male values and behaviors that a woman still can’t walk down a street after dark without worrying about being attacked in most American towns and cities.

    Reply

    Paul February 1, 2013 at 11:35 am

    Sexual harassment at CRST is easy to understand for anyone who has worked there. The whole place is run by thugs and crooks. One can only wonder why these women can only find sexual harassment to complain about. I’m a man and was physically threatened by no less than three co-drivers. At least with sexual harassment, you have some point of leverage against the company. You quickly learn that with any other problems, you are on your own.

    Reply

    Stormy February 1, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    Not open to appeal. One case has nothing to do with the other case. Sad but true. The previous judge obviously didn’t make a strong enough decision to get CRST’s attention. One judgment should be able to make them know taking action on a problem they know they have would be in their best interest.

    Reply

    Tim M. February 2, 2013 at 9:39 am

    Well, CRST you get what you pay for… what do you expect but the bottom of the barrel?

    Reply

    Tim M. February 2, 2013 at 9:39 am

    Though CRST isn’t the only one at the bottom !

    Reply

    Sean S February 2, 2013 at 10:32 am

    Not all CRST trainers are like that. I trained for them for 5 years, and no one can say I ever accosted them. Yet I had female students make advance to get out to learning, good thing I was too smart to get caught up in that. Or maybe I would be one of those trainers accused of harressment.

    Reply

    mike February 2, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    Not sure what really went on, the usability of solidarity for a pay day is possible. But I do agree with the judge in this one. if the situations had the same people then so be it let them testify. If they all want to believe they were harassed then they were. Let them tri one case at a time with all witnesses. What really is being tried is to win on circumstances and not evidence. Look at it this way if they decided to convict every male for abuse and sue us all for mistakes of us all for mistakes of a few that was possible.

    Reply

    Ginger February 4, 2013 at 10:30 am

    The point was CRST was not making it safe for women being trained. This is a shame this has happened, but as a woman driver I have seen alot of other women who dress and act in a way that makes them seem to be on the look out for some sex on the side. It is a disgrace to women. Men will be men and while there are more good truckermen than not you do run into a bad apple on occasion, as well as the women.

    Reply

    dennis witthuhn February 5, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    Interesting that criminals have more rights these days than law abiding citizens. My grandfather once said the day will come when the law abiders will be the ones locked up and the criminals will all run free. Seems we are getting real close to that day.

    Reply

    dmfletcher February 6, 2013 at 8:17 am

    Still going on….. CRST just never stops.

    Reply

    thetruckinglife February 6, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    ladies start using your cell phones, they have voice recorders you know, well most do.
    just saying, if you feel your being harassed start documenting it.

    Reply

    Linda February 8, 2013 at 9:20 am

    So what I understand you saying Ginger is that women ask for it and they get raped or unwanted sexual advances based on the way they dress?
    That is a common backward male attitude, and leads me to believe that maybe you aren’t the female you claim to be.
    Women and men are autonomous grown adult human beings, in charge of themselves and their actions. You degrade men with the boys will be boys argument. They have minds, that give them empathy and self control. I will wear what I please. I could care less what you, your backwater cohorts or anyone think. I have that RIGHT don’t I, here in the US?

    Reply

    John Burleson February 8, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    Maybe we need more lady trainers–driving trainers, I mean…. I’ve heard of the lowlifes that take advantage of scared, intimidated and worried trainees of the female species and welcome the first official recommendation said lowlifes get neutered sans pain killers. But the girls have to wise up, too. Get out of the truck. Call somebody. Like the police.

    Reply

    Joe February 8, 2013 at 8:10 pm

    Just as a side note… it is good to dress conservatively, whether you are a trainer or trainee… no tank tops, no exposed shoulders, no mini shorts. Whether you are a man or a woman, it doesn’t matter. Have a dress code and abide by it. When I got my CDL license, I attended a company’s driver academy and they had a dress code. Shorts were allowed in trucks, but as I said, no short shorts, no tank tops, no bare shoulders. Also, no cleavages or cracks showing. I think it was a smart idea.

    Reply

    Nicole February 9, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    As a student I was put with a trainer who tried to sexually harass me. I made it from Omaha to maybe Des Moines before I called the company and told them to get me the hell out of there. I hopped out at Chicago and ended up with a second male trainer who was the most amazing, well mannered driver you could ever ask for. His training gave me the skills I needed to succeed in trucking for the past 13 years and I’m forever indebted to him. You can let the sexual harassment happen and whine about it later or you can get yourself out of the situation and move on. Trucking is a male oriented industy. If you can’t take a little crap and get over it you’re probably in the wrong business. Women need to take responsibility for their own situations and not let it happen and then try to sue somebody over it.

    Reply

    Nicole February 9, 2013 at 9:14 pm

    I can’t really speak for her, but I would guess that’s not what Ginger was saying. You are correct that women have the right to do and wear whatever they want, but there’s really no need to look like a hooker. Trucking is business, not a singles bar or a street corner and it would be nice if more of the women in the industry dressed for the job. Women have a bad reputation in trucking and sadly it’s for good reason. Agreed that men don’t have the right to harrass us, but this isn’t a perfect world and in reality it’s more than likely going to happen. It all comes down to being responsible and respectful of yourself. You absolutely have the RIGHT to wear whatever you want, just be realistic about how you’re going to be treated for it. It’s a shame that Ginger and I and our backwater cohorts don’t live in the same perfect world you do.

    Reply

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