Home > Article from newspaper > Full court to reconsider UPS lawsuit

Full court to reconsider UPS lawsuit

April 25, 2007

 A 15-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will take up the case after a three-judge panel last year upheld a ruling that the Atlanta-based company’s practices violated the Americans with Disabilities Act. The smaller panel said the company had no right to automatically disqualify deaf or hearing-impaired drivers.On appeal, UPS maintained its hiring practice was a safety issue and that it was not discriminating. UPS wants to prohibit deaf employees from driving delivery trucks weighing less than 10,000 pounds.

Federal rules mandate that drivers of trucks exceeding 10,000 pounds be able to hear a whisper from 5 feet away. The government leaves it up to companies to decide who is qualified to operate lighter vehicles.

The U.S. Postal Service and FedEx Corp. allow some deaf drivers to operate delivery vehicles under 10,000 pounds.

In 2003, under a $10 million settlement, UPS agreed to track promotions and ensure that hearing-impaired employees and job applicants have access to certified interpreters. The company also agreed to provide text telephones and vibrating pagers to alert poor-hearing employees to emergency evacuations.

That settlement resolved all issues in the case except the truck driving dispute.

The case is Bates v. UPS Inc., 04-17295.

Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


  1. Michelle R Gordon
    June 4, 2007 at 2:44 pm

    can i have phone nbr of bates please?!

  2. Yenter Tu
    December 30, 2007 at 3:58 pm

    I finally drove for one year as air-driver but the regional found that I am Deaf and they blocked my career as a driver. UPS is not equally opportunately to everyone even UPS is over 100 years in operating business! No excuse their words!

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