ADA in the News July 29, 2020

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

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.”

Feds announce settlement of housing-discrimination suit that includes local apartment complexes

Owners, developers and builders of 82 apartment complexes in Ohio, Kentucky and 11 other states have agreed to settle a federal lawsuit by modifying the housing to make it accessible to people with disabilities.

Representatives of Miller-Valentine Operations Inc. of Moraine and affiliated companies also agreed to pay $475,000 to resolve claims that they violated the federal Fair Housing Act (FHA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

That sum includes $400,000 to compensate individuals with disabilities who were harmed by the accessibility violations and $75,000 in civil penalties to the government.

Accessible care is equal care: An appeal to improve primary health care for people with disabilities

Stanley Bergman, CEO of Henry Schein, and Neil Romano, Chairman, National Council on Disability, explain how COVID-19 has quickly heightened the critical need for nondiscriminatory access to primary health care for people with disabilities.

Digital Accessibility Means Disability Inclusion

Marking the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) this week, activist Judith Heumann (also the heroine of a groundbreaking Drunk History episode) wrote that even today, “too many people view disability as something to loathe or fear.” Data from the Disability Equality Index shows that more disabled people in the workforce improves financial outcomes — which is why digital accessibility, boosting Internet use for those with compromised sight or dexterity, may become the next frontier for impact investors. Funds like the Disability Impact Fund (part of the Global Development Incubator) are focusing on developing assistive technologies and ensuring that they are available to all of the one billion disabled people on the planet.

The ADA was written in the pre-Internet era and intended to regulate the physical world, not the digital one. And while tech has led advances for disability inclusion, there are still both old and new barriers that entrepreneurs around the world are working to solve. Let’s keep funding them.  

EEOC Emphasizes the Importance of Disability Employment Awareness

As the Americans with Disability Act turns 30, EEOC reminds employers that people with disabilities represent a vast pool of untapped talent who can positively contribute to business success and enhance workplace diversity.

Blending equality into ‘the rich mosaic of the American mainstream’

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), signed into law on July 26, 1990, sought to eliminate discrimination on the basis of disability in several areas — employment, transportation, public accommodations, communications and access to state and local government programs and services.

Testifying to its success, today few, if any, public spaces don’t contain proof of the extensive ADA footprint. Even the most unlikely bathroom at the most obscure state park bears the mark of adherence. You’ll find a grab bar installed by a 19-inch (max) tall toilet, right next to a wall-mounted sink with wrap pipes and 6 inches of foot clearance — all designed with wheelchair accessibility in mind.