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EEOC sues flatbed carrier Gypsum Express for sex discrimination

Agency says trucking company also retaliated against workers who complained

Gypsum Express operates a large flatbed fleet, as well as a logistics division that uses contractors to pull its trailers. (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on Friday filed suit against Gypsum Express Ltd., a flatbed and bulk motor carrier headquartered in Baldwinsville, New York, for sex discrimination in hiring, as well as retaliation and other charges involving two former recruiters. 

Gypsum Express has more than 650 tractors, 11 terminals in 10 states and more than 750 employees. It also provides van, truckload and refrigerated service through its Gypsum Logistics brokerage unit.

In its lawsuit, the EEOC charged that since at least 2014, Gypsum Express has consistently discriminated against female applicants for flatbed driver positions because of sex, including having a formal same-sex trainer/trainee policy for a period of time. The EEOC alleges the policy precluded recruiters from hiring inexperienced female applicants for driver positions because Gypsum Express did not employ any female trainers and was unwilling to pair female trainees with male trainers.

The EEOC also alleged that hiring officials, other management and supervisory employees, human resources personnel, and recruiters expressly stated sex-based criteria for flatbed driver positions.

The agency administers and enforces civil rights laws against workplace discrimination.

It said that Gypsum Express fired a former recruiter for opposing the trucking company’s discriminatory hiring practices and forced another recruiter to engage in discriminatory hiring practices, which adversely affected her terms, conditions or privileges of employment, forcing her to quit.

Michelle Eisele, director of the EEOC’s Indianapolis district office, said, “Retaliation against employees who oppose discrimination they observe in the workplace cannot be tolerated. The EEOC is committed to seeking relief for workers who speak up against their employer’s discriminatory conduct.”

The alleged conduct violates the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits using sex-based criteria in employment and retaliation against employees who oppose sex discrimination.      

After first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its administrative conciliation process, the EEOC filed its lawsuit  in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky.

The EEOC is seeking lost wages, compensatory damages, and punitive damages, as well as a permanent injunction against future unlawful conduct, and reporting and monitoring procedures to ensure Gypsum Express’ future compliance.

Click here for more FreightWaves/American Shipper stories by Eric Kulisch.


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  1. Joe

    This is a very bad situation. The carrier is caught in the cross-fire. If they don’t hire the female employee they get an EEOC lawsuit. If they do and place them with a male trainer they are opening themselves up to liability for sexual harassment. I’m sorry but there are bad actors from both genders. Yes there are male trainers that would take advantage of their situation. There are also female trainees or trainers that would claim fraudulently they were harassed to cash in on a payday from the company. In this day and age you can’t put either gender in that situation. It’s not considerate of the male, the female, or the management and owners of the company.

    1. William

      Basically the EEOC hand picks there cases both have av$300,000 cap so the company
      probably only had a manual and no training. There are thousands of cases but the EEOC
      really doesn’t care care this is a press conference case . Nothing will change because
      the size of the company. Tax write off for them . Now if you shut the company down till
      they recognize the EEOC then that would be different.

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Eric Kulisch

Eric is the Supply Chain and Air Cargo Editor at FreightWaves. An award-winning business journalist with extensive experience covering the logistics sector, Eric spent nearly two years as the Washington, D.C., correspondent for Automotive News, where he focused on regulatory and policy issues surrounding autonomous vehicles, mobility, fuel economy and safety. He has won two regional Gold Medals from the American Society of Business Publication Editors for government coverage and news analysis, and was voted best for feature writing and commentary in the Trade/Newsletter category by the D.C. Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. As associate editor at American Shipper Magazine for more than a decade, he wrote about trade, freight transportation and supply chains. Eric is based in Portland, Oregon. He can be reached for comments and tips at [email protected]