Tuesday, May 19, 2020

FedEx Ground Agrees to Pay $3.3 Million to Settle Disability Discrimination Lawsuit

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") issued a press release today announcing that it entered into a consent decree with FedEx Ground to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit brought pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"). The federal lawsuit was filed on behalf of deaf and hard-of-hearing package handlers and applicants to those positions alleging that FedEx Ground denied deaf and hard-of-hearing package handlers reasonable accommodations and denied applicants employment because of their hearing related disabilities.

The consent decree entitles the 229 aggrieved individuals to a share of the $3.3 million settlement. In addition, the settlement requires FedEx Ground to provide accommodations to deaf and hard-of-hearing package handlers including access to live and video remote sign language interpreting, closed captioning on videos and provision of non-audible cues (i.e. vibration) on scanning equipment. Finally, the consent decree requires that FedEx Ground institute safety measures to protect hearing compromised package handlers including ensuring that motorized equipment include visual warning lights and providing personal notification devices that will notify hearing compromised handlers of an emergency.

This settlement should serve as a reminder to employers to ensure that procedures are in place for employees to request a reasonable accommodation and that accomodation requests are granted to the extent that they are reasonable and can assist employees in performing the essential functions of their positions.


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