Harassment, verbal and physical abuse, sexual assault and even rape is being reported within the trucking industry on student drivers by their driver trainers. Though most driver trainers are highly professional and respectful to their student trainees, there are those who are committing these acts of violent crime. The trucking companies who employ these known felons, (and all of us veteran drivers know who these companies are), simply look the other way and usually end up terminating the student, taking no action against the criminal trainer.
Unlawful harassment is a form of discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other federal authority. Any employee wishing to initiate an EEO complaint arising out of the alleged incident of harassment must contact an FCC EEO Counselor or other EEO official within 45 calendar days of the date of the incident. The employee should not wait until the trucking company’s internal harassment inquiry is completed to contact a counselor if waiting will allow the 45-day time limit to expire. Thus the reason many complaints fail to ever get resolved.
Furthermore, as a student or newcomer to trucking, needing a job and a paycheck . . . many reports go unreported because of fear of losing that job that is needed so badly. Therefore, these criminal driver trainers continue with their crimes as some of the trucking companies keep looking the other way. Many also, fear being ridiculed and made out to be the culprit instead of the victim . . . all thanks to savvy attorneys who will turn around and “attack” the victim of the crime.
Recently, more and more female drivers are banding together and filing lawsuits against these trucking companies who did nothing when the crimes were reported. There would have been many more, if they had not let the 45 day limit to pass, unknowingly. Let’s be clear . . . most trucking companies do not tolerate any type of employee harassment and will take the proper actions required. However, there are a handful of companies that allow this type of activity to continue and a few of them are now being taken to court. I hope the driver trainers who committed these crimes are brought to justice as well. I can only wish they spend many years in prison.
Trucking talk radio, Truth About Trucking “LIVE” will be confronting this issue in its upcoming broadcast on Monday, June 15th, 2009 and Tuesday , June 23rd, 2009. Not only will we be discussing these crimes taking place within the trucking industry, but we will have several special guests appearing on the June 21st show to further discuss why these crimes take place, how they occur and most importantly, finding solutions to resolve them.
This behavior by some driver trainers and the trucking companies that keep them employed, is nothing new. The problem is that this “little secret” has been swept under the rug for many years. It simply has not or does not get reported. We are going to change that.
Mark your calendars for Monday, 6-15-09 for: Bullying in the Workplace – Part 1 for 7:30 PM EST and Hostile Training and Work Environments within Trucking for Tuesday, 6-23-09 for 7:30 PM EST.
It’s time to lift the rug and report these crimes being committed by these driver trainers and the trucking companies who allow them to continue.
© 2009, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.