An Olive Branch location of an international logistics company is being sued for decades of discrimination against women.
The complaint, filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) against USF Holland, says that, since 1986, qualified women applying to be truck drivers were intentionally not hired because they were women.
The Olive Branch location of USF Holland employed over 100 truck drivers in May of 2016, all of whom were men, according to the report.
The company failed to produce any records that it employed any female drivers since 2005.
EEOC said that the company’s discrimination went back to the opening of the Olive Branch location in 1986. The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi, said that the USF Holland has employed “virtually no female drivers” since its opening.
EEOC also said the discrimination is still continuing and has been intentional over the decades.
Marilyn Hervery is the only woman named in the suit, though “a class of female applicants” are also referenced.
In the complaint, Hervery said that there were five openings for truck drivers at the Olive Branch location, which is one of over 50 USF Holland locations around the United States and the only one listed in the suit.
She said that though she was “at least as qualified or more qualified” than the three men who were hired instead of her. Two of the men were interviewed for the position after Hervery, according to the complaint.
In Hervery’s interview, she was told that she needed to get a forklift license for the position, which she obtained after the interview and informed the company of her updated qualification.
The EEOC requested the court to order new policies to be instituted at the Olive Branch location of USF Holland and financial compensation — both backpay and other expenses — be paid to the class of affected female applicants.
“It is important for employers to understand that assumptions about gender roles have no place in employment decisions,” Delner Franklin-Thomas, district director of the EEOC’s Memphis District Office said in a statement from the office about the case. “Denying women equal employment opportunities in the workplace because of gender is illegal.”
EEOC requested a jury trial to bring the questions of fact before the court, according to the complaint.
A spokesperson for YRC Worldwide, the parent company of USF Holland, did not immediately respond to a request for comment by time of publication.
USF Holland’s website says that it is an equal opportunity employer and is “committed to ensuring that female drivers enjoy the same great careers as other drivers.”