Case against trucking company backfires on EEOC

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) -- Dozens of female employees of one of the nation's largest trucking companies say they experienced aggressive sexual harassment by male drivers during training rides, but their legal claims have been dismissed because of missteps by federal investigators.

Current and former employees of Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based CRST Van Expedited Inc. have said they were repeatedly propositioned, groped and even assaulted by trainers who controlled their futures with the company.

But a federal appeals court last month threw out all but two of the claims, faulting the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for failing to investigate each woman's allegations before filing a class-action lawsuit against the company in 2007.

The ruling could affect how the EEOC pursues large discrimination cases against companies in the Midwest.