UPS Freight to Pay $75,000 to Resolve Disability Discrimination Lawsuit

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
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U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

Federal Judge Approves Final Settlement

ST. LOUIS – A federal judge in the U.S. District Court for District of Kansas entered an order today formalizing a settlement resolving the final dispute between UPS Freight and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in a three-year old lawsuit.

The EEOC filed suit in August 2017 (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. UPS Ground Freight, Inc., Civil Action No. 2:17-cv- 02453) under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). According to the suit, Thomas Diebold worked as a road driver for UPS Freight from 2006 until his retirement in 2015, at its Service Center in Kansas City, Kansas. After suffering a minor stroke in 2013, Diebold sought temporary non-driving work. But company policy at the time allowed such reassignments only for drivers whose licenses were suspended for nonmedical reasons. In the suit, the EEOC also challenged a later collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between UPS Freight and the Teamsters, under which drivers with disabilities could be reassigned to non-driving work for medical reasons but were paid 10% less than drivers reassigned for non-medical reasons, such as DWI convictions.

In July 2018, the EEOC obtained an order from Chief Judge Julie A. Robinson that UPS Freight’s then-existing CBA violated the ADA. UPS Freight and the union then entered into a new CBA that eliminated the unlawful disparate pay clause. Today’s settlement, approved by Judge Robinson, resolves the EEOC’s claim for damages for Mr. Diebold. UPS Freight will pay him $75,000 for wage and non-wage damages.

Grant Doty, senior trial attorney assigned to this case, said, “The amicable resolution to this case allows both parties to finally move on.”

Andrea G. Baran, EEOC’s regional attorney in St. Louis said, “Employers need to know that disparate treatment of qualified, disabled workers – whether because of a company’s policy or a collective bargaining agreement – is prohibited under the ADA.”

“Workplace policies that discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities are unlawful and bad business,” said L. Jack Vasquez, Jr., director of the EEOC’s St. Louis District office. “The EEOC encourages workers to report these types of practices.”

The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. The St. Louis District Office oversees Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and a portion of southern Illinois.

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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