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EEOC Sues FedEx Ground for Institutional Disability Discrimination

Post by V. Severin Roberts

The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) has filed suit against the shipping company FedEx Ground Package System, Inc., (“FedEx Ground”) claiming that the employer violated federal law nationwide by discriminating against a large class of deaf and hard-of-hearing package handlers and job applicants for years.

The EEOC alleges that FedEx Ground failed to provide needed accommodations such as American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation and closed-captioned training videos during the mandatory initial tour of the facilities and new-hire orientation for deaf and hard-of-hearing applicants. According to the EEOC, the shipping company also failed to provide such accommodations during staff, performance, and safety meetings. Package handlers physically load and unload packages from delivery vehicles, place and re-position packages in FedEx Ground’s conveyor systems, and scan, sort and route packages.

The EEOC further claims that, in addition to failing to provide communications-based accommodations for mandatory meetings, FedEx Ground refused to provide needed equipment substitutions and modifications for deaf and hard-of-hearing package handlers, such as providing scanners that vibrate instead of beep and installing flashing safety lights on moving equipment.

The EEOC argues that such alleged conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits employers from discriminating on the basis of disability.  The ADA requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations for applicants and employees with a disability unless the employer can show that doing so would be an undue hardship.

If you believe you may have been discriminated against because of your disability, or because of some other protected characteristic, please contact us at our website www.justiceatwork.com.

Read the Press Release.

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