EEOC’s Summary Judgement Against Stan Koch & Sons Trucking in Sex Discrimination Case Resulting for Use of the CRT Isokinetic Test as a Hiring Screen
A federal judge has ruled as a matter of law that Stan Koch & Sons Trucking violated federal law by using a strength test developed by Cost Reduction Technologies because it discriminates against women truck drivers, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced today. Koch, headquartered in Minneapolis, is a family-owned trucking company with over 1,000 trucks which operates both nationally and on regional and local routes.
According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, Koch’s use of the CRT test, a strength test developed by Davenport, Iowa-based Cost Reduction Technologies, Inc., discriminated against women truck drivers because of their sex. Specifically, the EEOC alleged that the CRT test disproportionately screened out women who are qualified for truck driver positions at Koch.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits workplace discrimination, including the use of employment practices that have a disparate impact on women because of their sex and that are not job-related and consistent with business necessity.
The federal judge ruled in EEOC’s favor that the test disproportionately screened out women who had been given conditional offers of hire by Koch to work as truck drivers or who were already employed by Koch and were required to take the test to return to work following an injury. In addition, the judge found that Koch did not present evidence to show that the test was job-related and consistent with business necessity.
The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The case is captioned EEOC v. Stan Koch & Sons Trucking, Inc., Civil Action No. 0:19-cv-02148. The EEOC is now entitled to relief for a class of women applicants who were rejected because they failed the CRT test. The amount of monetary damages owed to the women by Koch will be determined in further proceedings. The EEOC will also seek an injunction preventing Koch from continuing to use the test.
“Employers are allowed to use hiring screens and they are allowed to use physical abilities testing, when appropriate,” said Julianne Bowman, the EEOC’s district director in Chicago. “However, when a hiring screen has disparate impact on female applicants and employees, like the CRT test did at Koch, employers need to take a hard look at whether they can prove those tests are job-related and consistent with business necessity. The fact that a job requires some physical strength will not, by itself, justify the use of any particular physical ability test; the test has to actually fit the physical requirements of the job or be shown to predict an important job outcome. This case should serve as a reminder to employers of the importance of having a professionally designed, rigorous study showing a clear relationship between performance on a test and the employer’s job.”
Notes from WorkSaver on this Case
It should be well known by anyone who has true expertise in employee fit for duty testing that any test utilized for this purpose must be job-related and consistent with business necessity. WorkSaver has always taken the position that a physical ability test (PAT), or fit for duty test (FFD), should have content validity and assess essential job functions in a job simulated manner that truly represents essential functions of the job and does not “over test” the person undergoing the examination. In this regard, our stance has always been that in general, computerized tests assessing isokinetic or isometric strength fail to meet EEOC’s litmus test of being job specific and valid for assessing essential job functions. This position has been reinforced by the above EEOC case involving Stand Koch and Sons trucking company which unfortunately used a CRT isokinetic test to screen employees.
WorkSaver has conducted hundreds of thousands of job-specific EEOC compliant physical ability tests nationwide since 1993. All WorkSaver physical ability tests are professionally designed, based on rigorous physical demands validation studies showing a clear relationship between performance on a test and the employer’s job.” The WorkSaver protocol is a proven system, having been scrutinized by EEOC and found to be non-discriminatory in design.
For more information on WorkSaver’s physical demands validation process that provides content validation of essential job functions and the WorkSaver employee testing protocol that is fully EEOC compliant, please contact: