Oct. 22, 2004 – In a class-action case involving up to 1,000 potential UPS drivers, a federal judge ruled Thursday that UPS violates anti-discrimination laws by preventing deaf and hearing-impaired workers from driving the companyâ€™s parcel delivery trucks.
The judge said the restrictions violated the Americans with Disabilities Act, and ordered the company to revise its policies within 30 days.
The decision was the final element in a five-year-old case against UPS over workplace discrimination. Under a $10 million settlement in the same case last year, UPS agreed to supply text telephones and vibrating pagers, and to make sure all hearing-impaired workers and applicants have access to interpreters. But the company held out on the issue of allowing its hearing impaired employees to drive trucks.
In the past, UPS had denied hearing-impaired workers jobs driving delivery trucks weighing less than 10,000 pounds. Federal rules regulate the hearing and eyesight requirements for driving trucks over that weight, but allow companies to establish their own regulations for lighter trucks.
The company told the Associated Press it was considering an appeal.