UPS to pay $75,000 to resolve disability discrimination lawsuit

Published: Jul. 28, 2020 at 4:11 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (WIBW) - UPS Freight has been made to pay $75,000 to resolve a disability discrimination lawsuit.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says a federal judge has ordered a formalizing settlement that resolves the final dispute between it and UPS Freight in a three-year-old lawsuit.

The EEOC says it filed the suit in August of 2017 under the Americans with Disabilities Act. It says according to the suit, Thomas Diebold who worked as a road driver for UPS from 2006 until his retirement in 2015, suffered a stroke in 2013 and sought temporary non-driving work.

However, the EEOC says the UPS Freight company policy at the time allowed reassignments only for drivers with suspended licenses for nonmedical reasons. It says it challenged a later collective bargaining agreement between UPS and the Teamsters where 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, like Driving While Intoxicated convictions.

The EEOC says in July 2018, it received an order from Chief Judge Julie A. Robinson that UPS’s then-existing CBA violation against the ADA and the union then entered a new CBA which eliminated unlawful disparate pay. It says today’s settlement resolved the claim for damages for Mr. Diebold and that UPS will pay him $75,000 for wage and non-wage damages.

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

“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,” says Andrea G. Baran, EEOC’s regional attorney in St. Louis.

“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 says it is responsible for enforcing federal laws that prohibit employment discrimination and that the St. Louis office oversees Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and parts of southern Illinois.

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