News Wire: US EEOC files lawsuit against CSX for allegations of sex discrimination

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Posted by Brian Schmidt on Monday, August 07, 2017 9:34 AM

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed a lawsuit against CSX Transportation alleging the railroad subjects female workers to unlawful physical abilities tests. In a news release issued by the commission...

http://trn.trains.com/news/news-wire/2017/08/07-us-eeoc-files-lawsuit-against-csx-for-allegations-of-sex-discrimination

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Posted by Deggesty on Monday, August 07, 2017 10:00 AM

The people at the EEOC apparently do not understand that some work requires more body strength than other work requires, and if an applicant does not have the strength to do that work and yet is hired for such a position the company may be sued for damage to the employee when the employee is asked to do something that requires more strength than the employee has. 

Is the EEOC staff full of incompetents?

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Posted by Shadow the Cats owner on Monday, August 07, 2017 10:52 AM

Well they did try and sue trucking companies for not having female trainers when only 5.1% of all drivers in the industry are female.  Yeah they demanded that 50% of all trainers at companies be female for OTR drivers.  I have 2 drivers that are female at my company total.  Neither one wants to even consider being a trainer.  I swear when people enter government service they disconnect their brain or have it removed sometimes.  

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Posted by Semper Vaporo on Monday, August 07, 2017 11:27 AM

Shadow the Cats owner
Well they did try and sue trucking companies for not having female trainers when only 5.1% of all drivers in the industry are female.  Yeah they demanded that 50% of all trainers at companies be female for OTR drivers.  I have 2 drivers that are female at my company total.  Neither one wants to even consider being a trainer.  I swear when people enter government service they disconnect their brain or have it removed sometimes. 

If they had a brain, would they have entered government service?

Sorry... I have had my troubles with officious individuals in other areas where the gumitupamint has their pinkies (and toesies).

I can understand the complaint if, 1) they were only giving that test to the females, and/or 2) the test does not reflect the requirement of the job.  If NEITHER of those things have occurred, then the complaint is baseless.

 

Semper Vaporo

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Posted by Deggesty on Monday, August 07, 2017 1:43 PM

Semper Vaporo

 

 
Shadow the Cats owner
Well they did try and sue trucking companies for not having female trainers when only 5.1% of all drivers in the industry are female.  Yeah they demanded that 50% of all trainers at companies be female for OTR drivers.  I have 2 drivers that are female at my company total.  Neither one wants to even consider being a trainer.  I swear when people enter government service they disconnect their brain or have it removed sometimes. 

 

If they had a brain, would they have entered government service?

Sorry... I have had my troubles with officious individuals in other areas where the gumitupamint has their pinkies (and toesies).

I can understand the complaint if, 1) they were only giving that test to the females, and/or 2) the test does not reflect the requirement of the job.  If NEITHER of those things have occurred, then the complaint is baseless.

 

 

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Posted by schlimm on Monday, August 07, 2017 2:11 PM

Deggesty

The people at the EEOC apparently do not understand that some work requires more body strength than other work requires, and if an applicant does not have the strength to do that work and yet is hired for such a position the company may be sued for damage to the employee when the employee is asked to do something that requires more strength than the employee has. 

Is the EEOC staff full of incompetents?

 

Maybe, but we used to have one or two female engineers on here, as I recall BNSF?  It would be interesting to see what the strength cut-offs are and whether that minimum is actually necessary for those jobs?  I recall discrimination lawsuits in the distant past where some psychological tests were being inappropriately used to discriminate.  I believe the landmark one was Duke Power, where the cut-off was not shown to correlate at all with actual job performance of current, satisfactory workers.

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Posted by samfp1943 on Monday, August 07, 2017 2:37 PM

Tend to agree with Semper Vapro and his 'take' on Govt. Employees. Having lost a son who was in Fire Service, and watching him prepare for the physical testing, and witnerssing those tests; I am amazed that thewre are so few females who are directly assigned to actual firefighting positions.  Even some recruiting campaigns fail to achieve the numbers they are hoping to achieve in recruiting female fire fighters.

 Interesting, found the following article from the NYTimes referencing the problems faced by the NYFD in recruiting females. I would be intereted in seeing if they have had better luck in their recruiting females, in  more recent times?

Article linked @ http://www.nytimes.com/2000/02/03/nyregion/despite-recruiting-few-women-do-well-in-firefighter-tests.html

FTA:"...The results indicate that the taxing physical examination, which was fashioned after legal challenges to previous tests, remains a significant hurdle for many female firefighter candidates. But, city officials said, although the department is always looking at ways to improve the test, it does not plan to relax the standards. That, city officials said, would jeopardize public safety.

''I've got 11,000 firefighters and 10 million people I have to think about every day,'' said Fire Commissioner Thomas Von Essen, ''so we have to have the most physically capable people. But I believe we must continue to reach out and find women who are capable and then prepare them for a difficult physical test..."

It would be interesting to hear from tree 68, Larry, and see what his thoughts are....

Sam

 

 


 

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Posted by Ulrich on Monday, August 07, 2017 4:26 PM

Everyone should have to meet the same standard. I know plenty of women who would have no trouble meeting any railroad strength test.. I also know plenty of men who would fail it. I don't think it has anything to do with one's gender. 

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Posted by tree68 on Monday, August 07, 2017 7:11 PM

Some standards are arbitrary, even if they were never meant to be discriminatory.

Case in point - California Highway Patrol used to have a height standard (six feet, I think).  Back when no one dreamed a woman would want to be CHP, this was hardly discriminatory.  They were looking for big fellas who could handle themselves.

If applied to women, however, there's only so many Amazons around.  If there's still a height requirement for CHP, I don't know what it is, but it's not six feet.

NS had (and may still have) as part of their testing hanging off the side of a car for two minutes.  One female member of this forum wasn't able to make it, so she missed out on becoming a conductor trainee.  I'm sure there are men who fail that test, too.  

Fire department testing has come under some serious scrutiny.  Few question whether the skills being tested are important, the question is does the test accurately represent a fireground function, particularly with respect to difficulty.  

NYS is now using a standard series of activities to test how well a prospective firefighter does using an air pack.  They also serve as physical ability tests - like hitting a large tire with a sledge hammer X times, or until it move "this" far.  Or raising the fly section of a ladder, or carrying hose up and down some stairs.  The "TOAC" test measures how long a firefighter can make his/her air last.  Not all make it through a round of the course on one air bottle.

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Posted by Ulrich on Monday, August 07, 2017 10:30 PM

Some requirements are just plain stupid.. Wearing glasses kept me off the railroad.. but thankfully it didn't keep me out of transportation. Yeah, I get that good eyesight is important for railroading, but I've got half a million miles of trucking on skinny roads without so much as a ticket or fender bender, so i guess my vision would have been sufficient for the railroad too. Now railroaders are required to wear protective eyewear.. my, how times change.  

A lot of progress has been made over the decades. employers can nolonger practice nepotism as blantantly as they did in the past.. they can't discriminate based on gender, or some arbitrary standard that excludes 90% of the population. I'm sure happy about that as I have two kids, one of them a daughter who would have had far fewer opportunites had she been born 20 years earlier. 

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Posted by SD70M-2Dude on Tuesday, August 08, 2017 3:51 AM

Ulrich

Some requirements are just plain stupid.. Wearing glasses kept me off the railroad.. but thankfully it didn't keep me out of transportation. Yeah, I get that good eyesight is important for railroading, but I've got half a million miles of trucking on skinny roads without so much as a ticket or fender bender, so i guess my vision would have been sufficient for the railroad too. Now railroaders are required to wear protective eyewear.. my, how times change. 

Loads of guys wear glasses now, it does not disqualify you from railroading anymore.  Neither does being diabetic. 

However if you are colour-blind you will not be allowed to work in a safety-critical position, and they do test for that.

I did not have to hang on the side of a car for 2 minutes, but did have to pass CN's standard new Conductor strength test, which is to pick up a knuckle and carry it for one car length (50 feet), the rationale behind that test should be pretty obvious even to a government auditor. 

Other standard requirements for hiring on here include a high school education, being at least 18 years old and (of course) passing a drug test.  You'd be surprised how many potential new hires are turned off by that third one. 

Greetings from Alberta

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Posted by Ulrich on Tuesday, August 08, 2017 7:47 AM

So true on that last point about drug testing. and they're often people one would least expect to have a drug problem. Sometimes the biker dude with the tatoos is clean and good to go while the guy who looks as if he teaches Sunday school is the one who has a serious problem.. Often hard to tell. One certainly can't jump to conclusions. 

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Posted by BaltACD on Tuesday, August 08, 2017 8:07 AM

SD70M-2Dude
I did not have to hang on the side of a car for 2 minutes, but did have to pass CN's standard new Conductor strength test, which is to pick up a knuckle and carry it for one car length (50 feet), the rationale behind that test should be pretty obvious even to a government auditor. 

From my experiences, hanging on the side of a car for 2 minutes would be a very short amount of time as the normal shoving move that would require such activity in the field would generally be much longer as well has having to withstand the rocking on less than high speed main line jointed rail trackage and the slack action involved in getting the movement started and stopped.  While protecting the point of a shove, the employee hanging on the side of a car will also have to communicate with the engineer, either by hand signals or radio - either of which cause one hand to be removed from the hand hold to perform the action.

         

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Posted by SD70M-2Dude on Tuesday, August 08, 2017 2:47 PM

BaltACD
SD70M-2Dude
I did not have to hang on the side of a car for 2 minutes, but did have to pass CN's standard new Conductor strength test, which is to pick up a knuckle and carry it for one car length (50 feet), the rationale behind that test should be pretty obvious even to a government auditor.

From my experiences, hanging on the side of a car for 2 minutes would be a very short amount of time as the normal shoving move that would require such activity in the field would generally be much longer as well has having to withstand the rocking on less than high speed main line jointed rail trackage and the slack action involved in getting the movement started and stopped.  While protecting the point of a shove, the employee hanging on the side of a car will also have to communicate with the engineer, either by hand signals or radio - either of which cause one hand to be removed from the hand hold to perform the action.

All very true, and switching crews do that multiple times throughout every shift.  I was surprised to hear that NS even has a short test like that, but perhaps they are just trying to weed out those who truly cannot meet the physical requirements of the job. 

Personally, I've never found riding cars or getting on/off moving equipment to be particularly hard, and very much prefer on/off at 4 mph (walking speed) to 0 mph, but I am young and not particularly obese.  There are many others with substantially more weight to haul around.

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

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