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November 15, 2004

Judge stays order that UPS discriminates against deaf drivers

From: San Jose Mercury News - San Jose,CA,USA - Nov 15, 2004

Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge here on Monday stayed his own ruling that UPS Inc. must give hearing impaired workers the same employment opportunities as others to become truck drivers.

U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson last month ruled UPS violates anti-discrimination laws by barring the deaf and hearing-impaired from driving parcel delivery trucks.

Henderson had ruled the Atlanta-based company's practices breach the Americans with Disabilities Act, and ordered the service to change its policies within 30 days. Henderson stayed that ruling Monday so UPS could appeal to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

Henderson's stay, at the request of UPS, means its policy barring the deaf from operating trucks weighing less than 10,000 pounds won't be changed for years, if at all, pending the outcome of lengthy appeals.

Last month, in a class-action case here representing as many as 1,000 would-be drivers, Henderson said those with poor hearing should "be given the same opportunities that a hearing applicant would be given to show that they can perform the job of package-car driver safely and effectively."

The federal government bars the hearing impaired from operating trucks weighing more than 10,000 pounds. UPS says hearing impaired drivers pose a safety risk.

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