Minnesota Transportation Company Retaliated Against Former Employee for Filing EEOC Charge, Federal Agency Charged
CHICAGO – Stan Koch & Sons Trucking, Inc., a Minnesota-based transportation company, will pay $165,000 and furnish other relief to settle a retaliation case brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.
According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, Koch refused to rehire a former employee because she had filed an EEOC charge against Koch alleging that a strength test used by the company to screen truck drivers discriminates against women.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who complain about discrimination in the workplace. The EEOC filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota in Minneapolis/St. Paul (EEOC v. Stan Koch & Sons Trucking, Inc., Civil Action No. 19-cv-1371) in May 2019, after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement through the EEOC’s pre-lawsuit conciliation process.
Under the 33-month consent decree settling the suit, agreed to by the parties and entered by the court, Koch will pay $165,000 to the former employee and issue her an apology for how she was treated by the company. The decree further mandates that Koch adopt a more comprehensive anti-discrimination and anti-retaliation policy, train its corporate office employees on Title VII’s protections against discrimination and retaliation, and report to the EEOC all future complaints of Title VII discrimination and retaliation.
“Refusing to hire someone solely because she has filed a charge with the EEOC is as clear a case of retaliation as you are ever going to see,” said Gregory Gochanour, the EEOC’s regional attorney in Chicago. “The EEOC will continue to enforce federal laws on behalf of employees who exercise their civil rights by contacting our agency to report workplace discrimination.”
Julianne Bowman, the EEOC’s district director in Chicago, added, “Retaliation has a chilling effect that deters employees from coming forward to assert their rights and interferes with our mission to eradicate discrimination in the workplace. Addressing and remedying this type of conduct in the workplace is a core purpose of the agency.”
The EEOC’s Chicago District Office is responsible for processing charges of discrimination, administrative enforcement and the conduct of agency litigation in Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and North and South Dakota, with Area Offices in Milwaukee and Minneapolis.
The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing the federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov.