FEDEX GROUND TO PAY $3.3 MILLION TO SETTLE EEOC DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION LAWSUIT
Consent Decree Requires Accommodations for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Package Handlers
FedEx Ground Package System, Inc. will pay $3.3 million and provide programmatic relief to resolve a company-wide disability discrimination lawsuit.
The Charge claims that FedEx Ground denied deaf and hard-of-hearing package handlers reasonable accommodations and that it discriminated against deaf and hard-of-hearing applicants to the package handler position. Package handlers are responsible for loading, unloading, scanning and routing packages at the company’s distribution facilities.
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), employers must make reasonable accommodations to the known limitations of qualified individuals with disabilities to enable them to perform the essential functions of their jobs and to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment.
The EEOC had conducted a nationwide systemic investigation after numerous deaf and hard-of-hearing package handlers filed ADA discrimination charges with EEOC offices throughout the country.
The two-year consent decree settling the suit identifies 229 individuals who may receive payment as part of the settlement. It also requires FedEx Ground to provide deaf and hard-of-hearing package handlers with access to live and video remote American Sign Language interpreting, captioned videos, and scanning equipment with non-audible cues such as vibration.
Pursuant to the decree, FedEx Ground will also take steps to protect the safety of deaf and hard-of-hearing package handlers. Going forward, the company will ensure that all tuggers, forklifts and similar motorized equipment have visual warning lights, and it will provide personal notification devices to alert deaf package handlers of an emergency. FedEx Ground will also train managers and human resources representatives on ADA compliance and create written resources to assist them in identifying and providing accommodations for deaf and hard-of-hearing package handlers. A FedEx Ground vice president will oversee the company’s implementation of the consent decree and reporting to the EEOC.
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