EEOC charges FedEx Ground discriminated against hearing-impaired workers

BALTIMORE—Are you a deaf or hard-of-hearing person who has worked as a package handler for FedEx Ground since 2006 or applied for such a position? Probably not, but if you are and you feel that the company, discriminated against you, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) wants to hear about it.

On October 10, that agency brought a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Baltimore against FedEx Ground, charging that the subsidiary of the FedEx Corporation has been discriminating against deaf and hard-of-hearing workers and job applicants for years.

The company contends that the complaint is misleading and it insists that it provides fair and equal treatment to all of its employees.

In announcing the action, EEOC alleged that the company has failed to provide hearing-impaired employees and applicants with the effective reasonable accommodations required by the Americans with Disabilities Act. The EEOC’s action follows the filing of 19 individual discrimination suits against FedEx Ground nationwide.

logo-header-fedexThe agency claims that the company, which has more than 65,000 employees and annual revenues of over $11 billion, failed to provide American Sign Language interpretation or closed-captioning training videos during mandatory tours and new-hire orientation or during staff and safety meetings. The EEOC also accused FedEx of refusing to provide needed equipment substitutions such as scanners that vibrate instead of beep.

Anyone who believes he or she is in the group that EEOC says FedEx Ground has discriminated against can contact the agency by calling 215/440-2670 (via video relay for American Sign Language users) or e-mailing it at fedexgroundlawsuit@eeoc.gov.