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Trucking company settles EEOC claim it refused to hire women since its opening

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A Mississippi trucking company will pay $490,000 and offer $120,000 in scholarships to settle claims it has refused to hire qualified female applicants since its opening in 1986, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced June 21.

The EEOC alleges that USF Holland’s Olive Branch, Mississippi terminal only ever hired one woman — who was then fired before she completed her first route. Additionally, the commission said that “a significant number of qualified women” applied for positions with Holland due to the company’s “impressive” benefits package, but were routinely passed over for jobs even when their qualifications were “equal or superior to those of male applicants.”

Such conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination in employment based on sex.

The $120,000 scholarship fund described in the consent decree is to be used to award scholarships to women who seek out their truck driver certifications through Holland’s truck driver apprenticeship program.

“While the trucking industry is traditionally a male-dominated field, qualified female drivers do exist and are paving the way for more women to enter the field,” said EEOC Trial Attorney Roslyn Griffin Pack. “We are pleased Holland agreed to take proactive steps to not only train female drivers through its apprenticeship program, but to also hire those qualified female drivers for positions in Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas. We hope these small steps will make a big difference in the lives of women who seek to enter the trucking industry.”

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