Trucking company that used controversial strength tests that ‘disproportionately screened out women’ ordered to pay $500,000 in damages

A female long-haul truck driver behind the wheel.
Long-haul truck driver Yulia Lazareva of Yevpatoria behind the wheel on Simferopol-Yevpatoria Highway on International Women’s Day.

  • A Minnesota trucking company will be required to pay $500,000 in damages to women it discriminated against. 
  • A federal judge ruled the company violated Title VII by using a strength test that “disproportionately screened out women.”
  • The company is now prohibited from using tests that have “a disparate impact in female drivers.” 

Female truck drivers may be one step closer to parity within the male-dominated trucking industry thanks to a new ruling against workplace discrimination.

The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced on Thursday that a Minnesota-based trucking company will be required to pay $500,000 to women a federal court deemed were discriminated against through the use of a controversial strength aptitude test. 

In the ruling, a federal judge found that Stan Koch and Sons Trucking “disproportionately screened out women who are qualified for truck driver positions” by requiring them to take a “CRT test” — an examination developed by Cost Reduction Technologies, a company that identifies methods to reduce workplace injuries.

The CRT test has been the subject of increased scrutiny in recent months. In September, the EEOC won a similar case against an Iowa trucking company that used the exam, ruling in both cases that it violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits sex-based discrimination in the workplace and the use of employment practices that “are not job-related and consistent with business necessity.”

“The court found that the use of an isokinetic strength test as an employment screen was unlawful because it had a negative impact on women and it was not shown to serve any legitimate purpose that benefited the company,” Julianne Bowman, the EEOC’s district director in Chicago, said in a statement. 

Stan Koch and Sons Trucking did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The decision comes as women hold a record number of truck driving jobs, with an all-time high 245,000 females behind the wheel, according to ZipRecruiter. And while 83% of the industry is still comprised of men, a rising number of women are finding success in the business, with some earning six-figure salaries and boasting large followings on social media platforms like TikTok.  

The ruling could ultimately attract even more women to the industry, bolstering a vital talent pipeline during a period plagued by labor shortages and a national supply chain crisis. The US currently has an estimated shortage of 80,000 truck drivers, the President and CEO of the American Trucking Associations told CNN last month

In addition to paying damages, Stan Koch and Sons Trucking will be required to provide job offers to women who had their positions revoked for failing the test. The company will also be prohibited from using physical abilities tests that have “a disparate impact in female drivers” without throughly demonstrating the examination is essential to the job first. 

“This case should serve as a reminder to employers that when they use a hiring screen they cannot rely on justifications like ‘It seemed like common sense’ or ‘Of course it’s better to have stronger employees if the job has some physical tasks,'” Gregory Gochanour, the EEOC’s regional attorney in Chicago, said in a statement. 

He continued: “Employers have to demonstrate with valid evidence that the tests they use can actually predict the outcomes they are looking for.”


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