There is a nationwide class-action lawsuit brought on behalf of individuals who were employees of UPS between March 2000 and the present, in federal court in Pittsburgh, against United Postal Services, Inc.. The suit alleges that UPS has systematically violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which is a federal law which protects persons with disabilities from employment discrimination.
According to suit, UPS maintains a policy, pattern and practice of requiring employees to provide a “full” or “100 percent” medical release, without restrictions, before permitting employees to return to work following a medical leave of absence. Further, the suit alleges that UPS refuses to meet in good faith with its disabled employees to determine the extent of their disabilities and what other tasks the employees can perform within the limits of their work restrictions. Instead, UPS conduct is alleged to conduct a sham investigation of the workers’ medical condition, which invariably results in a decision that the worker is either too disabled to work at any job UPS has or not disabled enough to warrant the protection of federal laws that require UPS to assist the worker to return to work. Either way UPS puts the employee out of a job at the company. Further, the lawsuit also alleges that UPS retaliates against workers who have filed workers compensation or discrimination claims.
“This case is about protecting workers’ federally recognized rights and ensuring that injured workers have a job to return to,” said Anita Laing, lead attorney for the Plaintiffs. “These hardworking employees give years of dedicated service to the company, but when they get injured, the company turns its back on them.”
The Plaintiffs are seeking a permanent injunction to prevent UPS from engaging in discriminatory employment practices in violation of the ADA. The Plaintiffs also want UPS to implement policies that provide equal employment opportunities for persons with present, past or perceived disabilities.
The purpose of the ADA was precisely to prevent big companies, like UPS, from slavishly working their dedicated employees, then casting them off to unemployment or disability when they become seriously sick or injured. This is exactly what the Plaintiffs in Mark Hohider and Robert DiPaulo vs. United Parcel Service, Inc., Civil Action No. 04-0363 (W.D. Pa.) allege that UPS is doing as a matter of practice.
“The ADA requires the company to honestly try to find an alternative job or identify assistive devices or other adjustments to the work environment that will allow these men and women to continue to contribute to America’s workforce. It’s not a choice. It’s the law,” said co-counsel for the Plaintiffs.