Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based CRST Expedited Inc./CRST International Inc. will pay $47,500 and furnish other relief to settle a disability discrimination and retaliation lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced. Both entities are part of the CRST national trucking conglomerate and are headquartered in Cedar Rapids.
The EEOC charged that CRST violated federal law when it failed to accommodate, refused to hire and then retaliated against a truck driver applicant, a Navy veteran, because he used a service dog to assist with his disabilities. During the CRST application process, the veteran disclosed his disabilities and use of a service dog to help with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The applicant successfully completed the required commercial drivers’ licensing course with CRST’s partner training company yet was denied hire due to CRST’s “no pet” policy.
Such alleged conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as amended by the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA), the EEOC said. The ADA requires employers to make reasonable accommodations to employees’ disabilities so long as this does not pose an undue hardship.
The EEOC filed its lawsuit, EEOC v. CRST International Inc. and CRST Expedited Inc., Case No. 1:17-cv-00129, in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through the EEOC’s conciliation process.
The settlement negotiated between the EEOC and CRST requires the company to provide the applicant with back pay and compensatory damages totaling $47,500.
The settlement also includes a consent decree which enjoins CRST from refusing to hire or provide reasonable accommodations to qualified applicants and employees with disabilities in the future, and from retaliating against any applicant or employee for seeking a reasonable accommodation.
The decree also requires CRST Expedited Inc. and CRST International, Inc. to provide anti-discrimination training to their employees.
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