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EEOC v. EAZOR EXPRESS CO.

October 24, 1980

EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION, Plaintiff,
v.
EAZOR EXPRESS COMPANY, INC., Defendant



The opinion of the court was delivered by: SIMMONS

Preliminary Statement

 The Plaintiff in this action is the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, hereinafter referred to as the Commission or EEOC. The Commission is an agency of the United States of America charged with the administration, interpretation and enforcement of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. Section 2000e, et seq. (1976 ed.), hereinafter referred to as Title VII.

 Defendant, Eazor Express Company, Inc., hereinafter referred to as Eazor, is a Pennsylvania corporation doing business in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It is a trucking company engaged in the business of interstate transportation of goods. Eazor operates terminals at various locations throughout the United States, including West Middlesex, Pennsylvania.

 Title VII prohibits employers from discriminating against any individual with respect to employment opportunities because of that individual's race, color, religion, sex or national origin.

 Jurisdiction of this Court is invoked pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Sections 451, 1343(4) and 1345. The Commission is expressly authorized to bring this action by Section 700(f)(1) and (3) of Title VII.

 The Commission alleges in its Complaint that Eazor violated Title VII when it engaged in the unlawful discriminatory employment practice of failing to recall Dixie Lee Jackson from layoff status because of her sex.

 The Commission seeks a permanent injunction enjoining Eazor from engaging in any employment practice which discriminates on the basis of sex. Additionally, the Commission seeks an Order requiring Eazor to institute and implement policies, practices and affirmative action programs which provide equal employment opportunities for women. Finally, the Commission seeks an Order that Defendant reinstate Jackson, pay her back wages, including interest, and any other relief to which Plaintiff is entitled.

 Findings of Fact

 1. Plaintiff, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), is a federal agency created by the United States Government to administer, interpret and enforce Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e, et seq. (1976 ed.).

 2. Defendant, Eazor Express Company, Inc., (Eazor), is a Pennsylvania corporation which operates a trucking company engaged in the interstate transportation of goods. Eazor operates terminals at various locations throughout the United States, including West Middlesex, Pennsylvania. D. Response to Admissions, No. 1.

 3. Since at least July 2, 1965, Defendant has continuously and is now an employer in an industry affecting commerce within the meaning of Section 701(b), (g) and (h) of Title VII.

 4. Since at least July 2, 1965, Defendant has continuously and does now employ fifteen (15) or more employees for each working day in each of twenty or more calendar weeks within the meaning of Section 701(b), (g) and (h) of Title VII.

 5. More than thirty (30) days prior to the institution of this lawsuit, Dixie Lee Jackson filed a charge with the Plaintiff, EEOC, alleging a violation of Title VII by Defendant. P.Ex.No. 1.

 6. On or about July 19, 1976, Jackson filed a charge of discrimination, No. 034-76-1712-0, with the EEOC alleging that Defendant discriminated against her because of her sex, female, by refusing to recall her from layoff even though openings existed and a male employee with less seniority than she was recalled to fill one of the openings. Tr. 174; D. Response to Admissions, No. 3; P.Ex., No. 1.

 7. Concurrent with Jackson's filing of Charge No. 034-76-1712-0, she requested that the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission waive its exclusive jurisdiction and allow EEOC to proceed immediately with the investigation of her complaint. D. Response to Admissions, No. 4; P. Ex., No. 2.

 8. Jackson's charge was deferred to the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission on or about July 26, 1976, and it formally waived its jurisdiction of Jackson's charge as she had previously requested on or about the same date. D. Response to Admissions, Nos. 5 and 6; P.Ex., No. 4.

 9. Plaintiff issued Form 131, Notice of Charge of Employment Discrimination, to Defendant on or about July 26, 1976, and an employee of Defendant Corporation signed for receipt of this notice on or about July 27, 1976. D. Response to Admissions, Nos. 7 and 8; P.Ex., Nos. 5 and 6.

 10. Plaintiff conducted an investigation of Jackson's charge No. 034-76-1712-0, which involved interviews with Bernard Halgas, Defendant's West Middlesex Terminal Manager and Anthony Simoes, Defendant's Director of Labor Relations, as well as other employees for Defendant at the West Middlesex Terminal who were familiar with the office operations of Defendant on or about February 4, 1977. Defendant was given an opportunity to submit all information it felt pertinent in support of its position. D. Response to Admissions, Nos. 9 and 10.

 11. On or about March 14, 1977, the Director of the Pittsburgh District Office of the EEOC issued a Letter of Determination on Jackson's charge finding reasonable cause to believe that the Defendant's failure to recall Jackson from Layoff status was due to her sex, female, in violation of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, as amended. D. Response to Admissions, No. 11; P.Ex., No. 7.

 12. On or about March 14, 1977, a copy of the Letter of Determination was mailed to Simoes; receipt of that letter was signed and returned to Plaintiff on or about March 15, 1977, by an employee of Defendant. D. Response to Admissions, Nos. 12 and 13; P.Ex., No. 8.

 13. Attached to the Letter of Determination received by Defendant on or about March 15, 1977, was Form 153, entitled "Invitation to Participate in Settlement Discussions". D. Response to Admissions, No. 14; P.Ex., No. 9.

 14. On or about March 17, 1977, Defendant's attorney, Martin Lubow, Esq., communicated with Plaintiff by letter informing it that Defendant had received the Letter of Determination and that the Defendant did not wish to discuss settling this matter. D. Response to Admissions, No. 15; P.Ex., No. 10.

 15. On or about March 23, 1977, Plaintiff sent a letter to Martin Lubow, Esquire, informing him Plaintiff considered that its efforts to conciliate Jackson's charge, No. 034-76-1712-0, had failed and that if he wanted to continue these efforts he must give written notice within five (5) days of receipt of Plaintiff's letter. D. Response to Admissions, No. 16; P.Ex., No. 11.

 16. Defendant's attorney received Plaintiff's March 23, 1977 letter on or about March 28, 1977, and a receipt of service was signed by an employee of his law office. D. Response to Admissions, No. 17; P.Ex., No. 12.

 17. Defendant failed to communicate with Plaintiff in response to its March 23rd letter. D. Response to Admissions, No. 18.

 18. Eazor operated a trucking terminal in Sharon, Pennsylvania on or about May 23, 1969. In 1971, the terminal was moved to West Middlesex, Pennsylvania. Some of the basic duties from that time to the present at these locations are:

 a. Accounts Receivable Clerk-The accounts receivable clerk handles all funds turned in by drivers. The clerk goes to the bank each morning for monies turned in overnight. The clerk prepares necessary paperwork for making bank deposits, bank clearings and interline payments. The clerk makes bank deposits and does office filing. When checks come in the mail, the clerk pulls the invoice from the file and compares the check with the amount due. A transmittal form is prepared and all bills and checks for the day are sent to Defendant's Pittsburgh office. Tr. 55-61, 313-314. Accounting experience and some typing skills are needed to be an accounts receivable clerk. Accuracy is very important since large amounts of money are handled. The accounts receivable clerk must complete the work received that day to get it in the mail. Tr. 413. If a problem arises, it is taken care of early. Tr. 415-416.

 b. Tracing Clerk-The tracing clerk handles requests from shipping customers to locate lost, missing or delayed freight. Tr. 87. The clerk looks for lost freight by checking files at the Sharon terminal and by telephoning other freight terminals. No special skills or educational background are needed to be a tracing clerk. All employees did some tracing work. Tr. 349.

 d. Rating Clerk-The rate clerk determines the current shipping cost for each shipment based on established tariffs. The clerk places the proper rate on the shipping order form which the shipping customer gives to the truck driver. Tr. 91. This is a position which requires special rate training and experience.

 e. Billing Clerk-The billing clerk uses costs information placed on the customer's shipping order to type out the shipping bill. Tr. 462. The clerk copies information which includes the shipper's name, the consignee's name, the nature of the freight and the weight of the shipment. Tr. 89, 90, 316, 321. Typing skills are needed to be a billing clerk. Tr. 225, 226, 261.2, 326, 497. Most of the work is typing. Tr. 225, 326. The primary function is to transpose information from the bill of lading to the freight bill. Tr. 320, 321, 325. Anyone can do billing clerk work without any prior trucking experience if they can type well. Tr. 598.

 Anyone in the office, including Jackson, could do the billing clerk and manifesting clerk work because it's simple copying and typing. Tr. 414. As Halgas stated at trial:

 Q. Who would perform the billing and manifesting during the day time if it had to be done?

 A. Well, provided the rate man rated the bills, anyone.

 Q. Anyone in the office?

 A. Yes, could type the bill.

 Q. Mary Beardsley from 1971 to 1973-

 The Court: Let him explain his answers.

 The Witness: Anyone from dispatchers to terminal manager back to Mary might be working at that time and could do that because it's simple copying and typing, and that's all.

 f. Manifest Clerk-The manifest clerk prepares a manifest form for each truckload of freight leaving the terminal. The clerk takes the shipping bill information for each shipment placed on a truck and lists all goods on the truck, along with the total weight and number of shipments. The manifest is a listing of all freight on a particular truck. The clerk also issues toll tickets and special handling instructions. Tr. 134-137. Typing skills were needed to be a manifest clerk. Tr. 227. The policy of typing manifests changed company-wide at Eazor. The manifests are now prepared in pencil. Tr. 495. Accuracy is a skill required to be a manifest clerk. Tr. 494.

 19. A person with good typing skills could qualify to be a billing clerk, a manifest clerk or an O S & D clerk after thirty (30) days or less of on-the-job training. Tr. 226, 227, 229, 326, 328, 352, 497. Billing clerk is one of the simplest jobs in the office. Tr. 512.

 20. A person with two (2) years experience in Defendant's Sharon or West Middlesex office would automatically qualify to be a billing clerk, manifest clerk or O S & D clerk with little or no training.

 21. No special skills (except typing) or educational background are needed for a person to qualify as a billing clerk, manifest clerk or O S & D clerk. Tr. 226-7.

 22. The billing clerk and manifesting clerk duties are often done by the same employee.

 23. The accounts receivable clerk, tracing clerk and O S & D clerk duties are often done by the same employee.

 24. Eazor's Sharon or West Middlesex terminal was a small operation and the office personnel were not locked into the specific job descriptions listed above. All of the office employees handled telephone calls and assisted each other whenever it was required by the workload. Tr. 307. Except for the rate clerk's position, all of the employees had done the other employee's job duties from time to time.

 25. The daytime office employees worked as general clerks with knowledge of the duties of each job. Tr. 306, 307.

 27. Dixie Lee Jackson (Jackson), a female, was employed by Eazor as an accounts receivable Clerk, from May 23, 1967 to July 27, 1971, at its Sharon, Pennsylvania terminal. Tr. 53, 54; D. Response to Admissions, No. 20.

 28. The work Jackson performed in 1969, included billing customers, interline work (when a shipment was carried by another trucking company before or after transfer by Eazor), receiving monies from drivers, handling checks sent by mail, deposit monies, typing, sending reports to the Pittsburgh office, filing, special billing, bank clearings (when a shipper's bank pays the bill directly), and ...


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