On September 8, a firm team secured a major victory for CRST when the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the district court’s grant of summary judgment in the Title VII case Sellars v. CRST. The appeals court ruled in favor of CRST against both individual and class action sexual harassment claims.
The ruling marks the probable end of more than 15 years of successful litigation defense that the firm has provided to CRST against massive actions with significant exposure brought first by the EEOC and subsequently by individuals as putative class representatives.
CRST is a national long-haul trucking company whose drivers work in pairs, allowing for one to sleep in the cab bunk while the other continues to drive on cross-country trips that can take two weeks or more. CRST follows federal policy designed to prevent gender employment discrimination by requiring unrelated male and female drivers to be assigned to the two-person teams.
Each of these cases challenged CRST’s enforcement of its zero tolerance policy for sexual harassment, and the courts held that CRST’s enforcement of that policy complied with Title VII’s requirements. Among the extraordinary results of the firm’s across-the-board success over the years were the highest ever fee award against the EEOC and an 8-0 win before the US Supreme Court.
Partner John H. Mathias, Jr. argued CRST’s case before the Eighth Circuit last September. Partners Jessica Ring Amunson and James T. Malysiak and Associate Lauren J. Hartz authored the winning briefs, along with Mr. Mathias.