Skip to comments.Court says UPS discriminated against deaf drivers
Posted on 10/10/2006 12:59:50 PM PDT by SmithL
San Francisco -- A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld a lower court ruling that UPS Inc. violated anti-discrimination laws by automatically barring the deaf and hearing-impaired from driving parcel delivery trucks.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson's 2004 ruling that the Atlanta-based company's practices breach the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Henderson, in a class-action case representing as many as 1,000 would-be drivers, ruled that the hearing impaired 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 San Francisco federal court order was stayed pending appeal.
On appeal, UPS maintained its hiring practice was a safety issue and that it was not discriminating. The company did not immediately have a comment, a spokesman said.
"While UPS offered anecdotal testimony involving situations where a driver avoided an accident because he or she heard a warning sound, the company ... failed to show that those accidents would not also have been avoided by a deaf driver who was compensated for his or her loss of hearing by, for example, adapting modified driving techniques or using compensatory devices such as backing cameras or additional mirrors," Judge Marsha Berzon wrote for a three-judge panel of the appeals court.
The case was litigated by Disability Rights Advocates who represented current and former employees who were passed over for driving positions, and other potential employees who consented to what the group dubbed UPS's "deaf-need-not-apply" policy.
(Excerpt) Read more at sfgate.com ...
If I were blind I would be sueing the hell out of them. /s
I completely agree. They are deaf, not blind -- two totally different disabilities. A deaf person can operate a vehicle just fine and probably more observant of their surroundings than the hearing.
They always say two heads are better than one.
The ideas of handicapped derived "entitlements" is PC run amok.
The real problem is in the well meaning but damaging Americans With Disabilities Act. Like OSHA, good intnetions organized into a bureacracy always result in negative unintended consequences.
It's against the law in most (all?) states to drive wearing headphones. Wonder what the reasoning is behind that?
"What Are The Other Requirements For A CDL?
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations require drivers to be at least 21 years old and pass a physical examination once every 2 years. The main physical requirements include good hearing, 20/40 vision with or without glasses or corrective lenses, and a 70-degree field of vision in each eye. Drivers must not be colorblind."
Can the 9th Curcus overule that by fiat? Don't think so.
"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." -Manuel II Paleologus
So....exactly WHY do trains blow their horns when they approach a crossing?
I am hearing impaired, and I have been driving for 30 years without a moving accident or a moving violation. My father drove for more than 50 years while completely deaf without an accident or moving violation. I know many hearing impaired and deaf people with near perfect driving records. On the other hand, I know many people with near perfect hearing who can't drive out of a parking lot without hitting something.
The court did not tell UPS that it had to hire every hearing impaired person who applies for a job, but rather, that UPS could not automatically exclude applicants from consideration simply because they're hearing impaired. The court's decision is consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and while we can debate whether the ADA is a good law or a bad law, the undisputed fact is that it is the law. For once, the 9th Circuit applied the law as written without allowing judicial advocism to run amok.
I always find that disturbing to say the least....
Good point about the cell phones. It's also valid that loud, booming music tends to totally distract a driver. When I'm in a difficult driving situation, the first thing I do is turn the radio waaay down just to be able to focus and concentrate. (Wife and daughter complain, but hey, who's the pilot and who's the crew?)
ATM machines are manufactured 'one size fits all" - that machine might end up in a lobby, hospital, convinience store, or built into the wall for drive-up use.
"Driving deaf is a serious safety issue."
You'd think so, but it's not true. I grew up with deaf parents, uncles, cousins, and assorted family friends. On average, they're safer drivers. I suppose their other senses are more acute. My dad drove for 50 years without a single accident, and my mom has been driving for 50+ years with just one accident (as a 4-year-old, I distracted her).
In any case, what's the difference between a deaf driver and a hearing driver who is listening to a loud radio? And finally, you don't see many deaf drivers chatting on cell phones, do ya?
Must be 'cause you wouldn't be able to talk to the dots.
Yeah, thanks 41.
Dale Jarrett says "What???"