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July 21, 2003

UPS to pay $5.8 million settlement in lawsuit with deaf employees

From: San Jose Mercury News, CA - Jul 21, 2003

Mercury News

Attorneys representing a group of UPS workers announced Monday that the company has agreed to pay $5.8 million in damages as part of a settlement of a lawsuit that accused the mail carrier of failing to provide sign language interpreters and other communication aids for deaf employees.

Deaf workers had also complained in a lawsuit that they did not receive workplace information, were denied promotion opportunities and worked in unsafe conditions.

As part of the settlement of the class action suit, which was announced in a Monday press conference in Oakland, UPS has agreed to implement a comprehensive program to ensure deaf employees have full access to workplace information, equal workplace conditions, opportunities for promotion and workplace safety, attorneys for the plaintiffs said.

UPS will provide sign language interpreters when necessary, vibrating pagers, text telephones and training for all managers who supervise deaf employees. The company will also track deaf employees who request promotions

Disability Rights Advocates filed the lawsuit under the Americans with Disabilities Act, representing five deaf UPS employees and on behalf of an approximately 1,000 deaf workers throughout the country. Attorneys for the plaintiffs say they believe the settlement is the largest paid in an employment class action suit under the act.

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