Female driver sues Pennsylvania company for gender discrimination
January 24, 2020
A female driver is suing her former employer for alleged gender discrimination, including claims of being told she should be “home baking cookies” instead of driving a truck.
On Jan. 10, a female trucker for Strattanville, Pa.-based Neiswonger Construction filed a lawsuit against the company on claims of discrimination and retaliation based on gender. Filed in a Pennsylvania federal court, the complaint cites violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act.
According to the complaint, the female driver worked for Neiswonger from March 2018 to April 2019 hauling debris and sandstone. During that time, the driver alleges she was subjected to a sexually hostile environment. Accusations include inappropriate comments, actions and treatment by co-workers and management.
Among the many claims include comments such as being called “mother” or “grandmother” on a daily basis. Other inappropriate comments alleged in the complaint include:
- Told that she should be “home baking cookies” instead of driving a truck.
- Called a “bitch” by co-workers over the CB radio and in person.
- Called “crazy.”
- Getting hostile answers to her questions regarding the performance of certain job functions (“you never listen to me anyway,” insinuating that she was a stubborn female).
- Being told by a male driver that she “doesn’t do anything right” and that she “didn’t need to be out here.”
The lawsuit also claims that the female driver was nearly run off the road by a male driver, who then threw her “the finger” after passing her truck.
On another occasion, male co-workers allegedly spray-painted her name on a boulder that she grazed. According to the complaint, similarly situated males were not subjected to this type of hazing.
The female driver brought the issues to the office supervisor. However, the supervisor allegedly laughed it off and told her to “watch your back.”
Regarding work-specific treatment, the female driver claims she was assigned an unsafe truck despite the availability of better-maintained trucks. The female driver also claims she was constantly taken off shifts, which were reassigned to male drivers. When asked why, the supervisor told her on one occasion “he has a family to feed,” according to the lawsuit.
Furthermore, not only did the female driver allegedly earn less than her male counterparts for the same work but she also claims she was never given a raise after she was eligible. The complaint claims similarly situated males received regular raises. When asked about the pay gap, the supervisor allegedly said, “Good luck with that.”
The complaint says that in April 2019 a deer struck the driver’s truck. According to the complaint, the owner accused her of hitting something else and stated, “If you put one more mark on that truck, you’re fired.”
Just a few days later, the female driver went to Med Express after sustaining an injury at work. She was placed on light duty by a doctor. When she called the supervisor about the doctor’s order, the female driver was told she had been fired. Allegedly, the owner explained that the termination was a result of the damage done to the truck, which he still believed was caused by her. The female driver claims male drivers have caused serious damage to trucks without losing their job.
In June 2019, the female driver filed harassment and discrimination charges with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The EEOC issued a Notice of Right to Sue on Nov. 30.
Neiswonger Construction could not be reached for comment.