The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is asking a federal appeals court to reconsider a ruling that could cripple its ability to pursue class-action discrimination lawsuits on behalf of workers in the Midwest.
The agency Monday asked the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals to reinstate a lawsuit in which more than 100 women claimed they were sexually harassed by male trainers at an Iowa trucking company.
An earlier ruling dismissing the suit also set a new standard requiring EEOC to investigate every worker's claim and seek informal settlements before suing a company. The standard applies in the federal circuit that stretches from Arkansas to the Dakotas.
EEOC's filing says if the new standard stands it would make it difficult to enforce "civil rights laws in workplaces with the most widespread discrimination."