Discrimination, Lible, Slander?

My wife and I are truck drivers and recently took a break from over the road. We were hired at a local company driving dump trucks. After our 3 day training period of following trainers so they could be sure we were safe and could perform our duties we were on our own. While on a delivery run a few weeks later my wife was involved in an accident. The car was in her blind spot and while changing lanes there was a collision. No one was hurt and damage was under $3000.00. After police let us all go we dropped our load and went back to our workplace. While there our supervisor took us to a back room and fired my wife stating that if she had'nt gotten a ticket she would have been fine. My wife went to court where she fought the ticket and was found "not guilty". On the way back from court we stopped at the company to ask for her job back. The safety director for the company said that she was a safety risk and caused an accident. She did not get her job back. While before we were hired another male driver tipped his trailer over at a customer location causing extensive frame damage in excess of $10,000.00 after only being on the job a few weeks. He was still employed at the time my wife got fired. Furthermore a prospective employer is thinking twice about hiring my wife because our former employer said she was a safety risk and caused an accident. There is more to this story, but I'm trying to keep it simple. Also stated to me by my supervisor at the first safety meeting my wife and I attended was "the owner is old school and doesnt approve of women driving trucks". Thanks for any help.

2 answers  |  asked Aug 30, 2006 09:45 AM [EST]  |  applies to Florida

Answers (2)

Phyllis Towzey
Your wife may have a discrimination case, or she may not. The problem is that it sounds like a reasonable person could conclude that she caused the traffic accident - the fact that another vehicle is in the driver's "blind spot" is not an excuse for failing to do a head check before changing lanes. I do not know what the facts were regarding the male driver who tipped his trailer on a customer's property, but it does sound like that incident did not occur on a public road, nor was there any other moving vehicle involved. To show discrimination you would need to identify another moving vehicle accident involving a male driver, who appeared to be at fault but was then not fired.

I agree with the other recommendation that your wife consult an employment law attorney and go over all the facts. Realize, however, that she has a "duty to mitigate damages" under the applicable employment laws (i.e. diligently look for another job) so her lost wages damages may not be significant.

posted by Phyllis Towzey  |  Apr 15, 2011 1:38 PM [EST]
Bonnie Riggens
Discrimination, Libel, Slander?

It sounds as if your wife has a gender discrimination claim. Asap, she needs to see an employment lawyer to see if she can get reinstated, or, she can file a charge of discrimination with the EEOC or the Florida Commission on Human Relations asap.

posted by Bonnie Riggens  |  Aug 30, 2006 11:57 AM [EST]

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