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Federal Court Rules UPS Ban on Deaf Delivery Drivers as Discriminatory

December 27, 2001

A federal appeals court ruled last week that the United Parcel Service (UPS) cannot prohibit the deaf from driving its smaller trucks unless UPS can prove that deaf drivers are less safe than other drivers, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The U.S. Department of Transportation regulations require that drivers of commercial vehicles more than 10,000 pounds pass a hearing test, which covers about 90 percent of the UPS fleet. The U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled that an employer cannot enforce government safety standards “beyond their intended scope, to drivers and vehicles that [DOT] has expressly chosen not to regulate,” said Judge Martha Berzon. Last year, another federal court also ruled against the UPS for violating federal disability law because the company didn’t consider drivers who are legally blind in one eye. The company has appealed that ruling.
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