Swift Transportation Co. Inc. and Ronneisa Tolefree, a former driver for the company, have reached a settlement in a discrimination lawsuit initially filed in September 2018 in the Superior Court for the County of Sacramento.
Terms of the settlement between Phoenix-based Swift and Tolefree were not disclosed.
The lawsuit states that Tolefree immediately notified C.R. England Inc., who employed her at that time before her employment was transferred to Swift, when she discovered she was pregnant in February 2018.
In May 2018, Tolefree began being dispatched for deliveries by Swift, said court records. Tolefree provided documentation confirming her pregnancy to Swift on or around May 5, 2018, and spoke to Swift management about it the next day, according to the lawsuit.
On May 21, 2018, Tolefree provided Swift management with a note from her physician that prescribed “light duty,” prohibiting the lifting or pulling of more than 20 pounds. She was instructed by Swift to immediately turn in her truck keys and was informed she would not be dispatched until she was “100%,” said court records.
According to Tolefree’s claims, her requests for an accommodation with Swift’s human resources department went unanswered or denied. On May 31, 2018, Tolefree was informed she would be put on leave until Nov. 2, 2018, six weeks after her due date.
Court records also state Swift contacted Tolefree’s treating physician without her consent.
Swift did suggest Tolefree apply for other light-duty positions during her leave before depositing Tolefree’s vacation pay into her account in June 2018 and mailing her COBRA healthcare information, court records state.
Tolefree claimed these actions effectively terminated her on the basis of her disability, resulting in her and her two children being evicted from their home and the loss of medical benefits, according to the lawsuit.
No specific dollar amount was sought in this case, according to court filings. However, claims were made for lost wages, emotional distress damages, punitive damages, and attorney’s fees within the lawsuit.
The notice of removal was serviced by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California. LL
More Land Line news from California.