$4.7 million -- This would be the amount the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has been ordered to pay in attorneys’ fees and other costs to an Iowa trucking company for bringing unreasonable or groundless claims of sexual harassment against the company.

EEOC made 153 unreasonable or groundless claims of sexual harassment as determined by Judge Linda R. Reade of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa. This "did not adequately support an allegation that the company had a pattern or practice of allowing harassment."

The case began in 2005 when a female driver complained that two of the company’s lead drivers sexually harassed her, creating a sexually hostile work environment. In a 2007 class action lawsuit, the EEOC alleged that this driver and other female employees were subject to harassment and that the company failed to prevent it. The trucking company denied the allegations.

The court noted that the EEOC presented only anecdotal evidence in support of its pattern-or-practice claim. It also said that because the EEOC should have known that it would be required to prove that the trucking company had actual knowledge of the harassment, many of its claims were groundless. They also awarded the trucking company $4.2 million in attorneys’ fees, $413,000 in expenses, and $92,000 in court costs.

See full report at: J.J Keller