Test driver files sexual harassment suit against Navistar and subcontractor
February 26, 2018
A test driver for Navistar has filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against the truck manufacturer and the subcontractor she worked for, according to federal court documents. The lawsuit claims that despite numerous complaints regarding sexual harassment, supervisors did nothing to address the issue.
The plaintiff in the case began driving for Crest Hill, Ill.-based American Driver Resource in August 2016 with the title of driver/tester. Navistar subcontracted ADR to test drive its heavy-duty vehicles.
According to the complaint, the plaintiff in the suit was subjected to sexual harassment by a male co-worker beginning in November 2016. Among the allegations, the male co-worker commented on the woman’s breast and made other sexually explicit comments. These comments were usually made while the two were alone and continued despite the woman’s plea to stop.
Eventually, the woman approached two of her supervisors about the harassment. In fact, the woman spoke to those two supervisors regarding the male co-worker’s behavior an average of two times a month for about five months. However, the supervisors shrugged it off, saying that the accused co-worker “liked to joke around and that he was not being serious.”
On March 1, 2017, a white co-worker used a racial epithet in front of the woman while telling other co-workers about how someone would not move out of his way when he was driving. Upset over the use of the word, the woman texted another supervisor about the incident.
With no action taken by any of the supervisors over any of the complaints, the woman submitted her two-week notice. On March 6, the woman received a text message informing her not to come into work as there was a shortage of trucks and work.
The following day, the plaintiff returned to work in order to file a formal complaint about the previous sexual harassment and racial comments. According to the lawsuit, her supervisor would not allow her to file a complaint. Instead, the lawsuit said the woman found out from a co-worker that she had been fired before her two weeks were fulfilled.
On March 17, 2017, the woman received a letter from ADR stating that she had filed a formal complaint when she sent the text message on March 2. Consequently, ADR explained that it had found no evidence of the allegations and the investigation would be closed.
One count of violating the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was filed against both ADR and Navistar on Feb. 16 in the lawsuit.