Appeals Court: UPS Must Change Hearing Test Requirement For Deaf
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
October 10, 2006
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA--Up to a thousand deaf employees and job applicants can sue United Parcel Service over claims that the world's largest package delivery service discriminated against them, following an appeals court ruling Tuesday.
The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling from 2004 which said UPS discriminated against deaf workers and applicants in violation of the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act.
The ruling centered around UPS' practice of making workers who wanted to drive delivery trucks weighing under 10,000 pounds to pass a Department of Transportation hearing test for vehicles weighing over 10,000 pounds. Under Monday's ruling, UPS must assess each deaf driving applicant based on individual driving qualifications instead screening him or her out with the broad-based DOT hearing test.
"We are elated and vindicated," said Larry Paradis, an attorney with the non-profit law firm Disability Rights Advocates, which has represented the plaintiffs since filing the original lawsuit in 1999.
"The ruling sends a clear message not only to UPS, but to all employers, that the law will not permit across-the-board tests which screen out employees with disabilities."
The driving test issue was all that remained of the suit, most of which was settled in July of 2003.
"Press release -- Historic ruling for deaf employees at UPS" (Disability Rights Advocates)
Appeals Court Decision -- Bates v. UPS