UPS Cites "Long-Standing Partnerships" With Disability Groups In Defense Of Discrimination Claims

By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express (subscribe)

ATLANTA--The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed a lawsuit against United Parcel Service claiming it fired a long-time worker because of his vision-related disability.

According to an EEOC statement, UPS terminated sorter/loader Eugenio D'Oliveira in July 2004 after 17 years of service, saying his retinitis pigmentosa made him a threat to his own safety and that of other workers.

In the suit, filed May 10 in federal court, EEOC alleged that UPS dismissed D'Oliveira without consulting his physician, obtaining objective medical or factual evidence about his condition, and failed to determine whether a reasonable accommodation could reduce any safety threats that he might have presented.

UPS responded with its own statement two days later, saying D'Oliveira was removed "when his physician confirmed he was unable to safely perform the essential work functions of his job as a part-time package sorter."

"Safety is of the utmost importance to UPS, and Mr. D'Oliveira's impairment posed a safety risk to himself and others in his current position. After considering all available options the company determined that there is no other appropriate job available to which Mr. D'Oliveira could be moved."

UPS also cited its "long-standing partnerships with many groups that support opportunities foe [sic] the disabled, such as the American Foundation for the Blind, the National Organization on Disability and the American Organization of Disabled Persons."

[Editor's note: Searches using Google, MSN, and Yahoo! search engines revealed no results for "American Organization of Disabled Persons", except for UPS' own response. If you know about this group, please let me know. -- Dave Reynolds]

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May 22, 2006 - InclusionDailyNews Department | Email this story


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