Postal Worker Leads Multi-Million Settlement For Disability
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
December 15, 2003
DENVER, COLORADO--An estimated 25,000 current and former postal workers are eligible for awards of between $5,500 and $25,000 each under the December 3 settlement of a disability discrimination class-action suit.
The case, Glover/Albrecht v. Potter, was filed on behalf of Chandler Glover, now 65, who sued the U.S. Postal Service 10 years ago claiming it denied him advancements because of his disability. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission administrative judge Dickie Montamayer gave preliminary approval to the settlement.
Glover lost about 25 percent of his hearing on the job in 1991 while using jackhammers and sledgehammers to repair large metal containers that postal trucks use to carry mail. Glover was taken off the job for about a year without pay, but was reinstated as a "rehabilitation-status" janitor in 1992, a position that Glover considered a "dead end".
"I got to keep the same salary, but I was denied any promotions, any transfers, or anything of that nature," said Glover. "I wasn't given those opportunities. I couldn't even apply for (them). I had a promotion that came up about the time they gave me the (new) job, and they wouldn't give me that, either."
The 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits employers from denying workers opportunities for advancement because of their disabilities.
All USPS employees who were placed in rehabilitation positions since Jan. 1, 1992, and who were denied promotion and advancement opportunities are covered in the class-action. The amount to be awarded to each claimant depends on the year the promotion was denied.
"Whether it is single-digit or double-digit, we won't really know until we see how many claims are filed," said Brad Seligman, an attorney with the California-based nonprofit The Impact Fund, which helped represent Glover and another postal worker in Florida. "But it is safe to say that it will be millions of dollars."
"After all the suffering I went through, knowing that 20,000-something people are going to be helped and some of the policies are going to be changed . . . makes me feel real good," Glover told the Denver Post.