FedEx Ground agrees to pay $3.3M to settle a recent Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. The suit, alleging that FedEx Ground failed to provide reasonable accommodations to hard-of-hearing package handlers, was filed pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) – a civil rights law prohibiting discrimination against individuals with disabilities. The ADA specifically requires employers to offer reasonable accommodations to qualified employees with known disabilities to ensure those employees have an equal opportunity to perform the essential functions of their positions.
In addition to a payout of $3.3M, the settlement decree stipulates that FedEx Ground take steps to protect the safety of their deaf and hard-of-hearing package handlers by installing visual warning lights on motorized equipment and providing personal identification devices to alert said employees in the event of an emergency.
Jamie Williamson, director of the EEOC’s Philadelphia District Office, said,
We are grateful to the numerous individuals throughout the country who filed the charges that led to the EEOC’s systemic investigation and ultimately this resolution in federal court. It is very powerful when multiple employees come forward to notify the agency of the same issue.