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The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission vs. UPS Freight


Workers feel comfortable and motivated when they are treated equally, and their safety is ensured. This means that managers should show determination in addressing issues affecting their workers by treating everyone fairly without discrimination. It becomes difficult for workers to achieve their objectives when working with unfavorable company policies that oppress them. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is mandated to enforce federal laws and illegalize discrimination against an employee or job applicant because of any reason, including sex, color, religion, national origin, genetic information, disability, or age. This paper explores a lawsuit filed against UPS Freight following complaints from Mr. Thomas Diebold, who worked as a driver for the company.

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The commission covers most employment agencies, labor unions, and employers with workers exceeding fifteen individuals. Every work situation and employment must be in line with the established laws (EEOC, 2020). Different aspects of the work, including promotions, firing, hiring, training, and benefits, must show respect to the rule of law. The commission investigates discrimination charges while accurately and fairly assessing presented allegations and making a finding before settling the charges. Its role is to raise the voice of the weak and ensures that they receive justice in their workplaces.

Case Details

The complainant worked for the company between 2006 and 2015 in Kansas City at its service center. In 2013, Mr. Diebold suffered a stroke, making it impossible for him to drive. He disclosed that he suffered a minor stroke during the driver’s annual physical examination and explained that he was not in a position to renew the Department of Transporta­tion (DOT) medical examiner’s certificate. He took nine months before renewing the certificate in December 2014 (EEOC, 2020). During this period, his plea to have him treated similar to other drivers who could not drive because of alcohol intoxication was rejected. This prompted him to seek justice and assistance from the EEOC.

The UPS Freight policy explains that drivers should be assigned other duties in case they have either medical or non-medical reasons obstructing their capabilities to work efficiently. The collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between the company and union indicated that drivers who are unable to serve their duties due to medical reasons would be paid 10% less than others who are reassigned following non-medical reasons (EEOC, 2020). Although the company assigned him alternative duties, his payment was unfairly reduced.

The EEOC investigated the case on behalf of the driver in an attempt to eliminate discrimination against disabled workers. Complaints were presented to Julie A. Robinson, the Chief Judge, in July 2018, where it was ruled that the CBA was against the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) since it promoted discrimination against the affected people (Burden, 2020). The Act states that disparate treatment of workers with a disability regardless of whether there is a collective bargaining agreement and company policy is prohibited, and offenders should be punished.

Company policies that promote any form of discrimination are unlawful and need to be discarded. A “disparate treatment” explains an intentional discrimination act to mistreat some individuals based on issues that are beyond their control. According to the EEOC, a “disparate impact” is realized when neutral practices or policies create an adverse effect where business necessity cannot justify the involved actions. The court issued an injunction hindering both the union and UPS Freight from ratifying the CDA since it was unfair to people with disabilities.

The UPS Freight went against the law by discriminating against a driver who could not work due to a minor stroke and treating him worse than those accused of driving while intoxicated with alcohol. The federal judge rejected the objection by the union and UPS Freight to have the injunction lifted even though there were “changed circumstances” (EEOC, 2020). It was found inappropriate to eliminate the injunction since their requirements were unlikely to realize success on appeal.

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Non-Compliance Issues

Non-compliance was evident because the company was treating drivers with disabilities harshly and worse than those who had non-medical reasons. This implies that Mr. Diebold was being punished for issues that were beyond his control, and it was inappropriate to deduct his salary. Moreover, ADA expects companies to ban discrimination and provide reasonable accommodation to disabled workers (Burden, 2020). This means that disability should not be considered during the firing, hiring, and determination of wages. The current union contract between the UPS Freight and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters was challenged for promoting discrimination against truck drivers with a disability.

The procedure used to file the Case

The EEOC investigated the case before filing the lawsuit and ensured that all the necessary information was obtained. The commission examined the UPS contract to reveal whether disabled drivers required their duties to be reassigned temporarily and check if their salaries were deducted (Burden, 2020). This investigation was meant to explain whether the presented case was unique and if there were other unreported discrimination acts in the company. There were attempts by the commission to support a pre-litigation resolution through the “conciliation process,” but success was not realized.

Failed pre-litigation influenced the commission to file a suit in support of 90 temporarily disabled drivers, including Mr. Diebold. The company lost the case and was forced to pay these workers $75,000 (EEOC, 2020). EEOC stated that failing to provide reasonable accommodation to disabled drivers was against the law, and UPS Freight had to pay for it. Moreover, the commission made it clear that the company had an inflexible leave policy since it fired its disabled employees after 12 months of consecutive leave. Moreover, the company failed to support an interactive process as explained in the law when dealing with cases of disability. The UPS Freight was unable to justify its action before the court, and it was instructed to offer room for people overseeing the accommodation process, update its plans, and ensure timely and consistent provision of status on request. This was focused on promoting process effectiveness and compliance with the established laws.


In case the UPS Freight fails to follow the law, the EEOC can re-investigate the process and consider other penalties, including stricter oversight and fines. This can influence the company to respect the rule of law and avoid discriminating against disabled individuals. Serious measures need to be taken against repeat offenders, such as the UPS Freight, to enhance the safety and security of workers (EEOC, 2017). This would ensure that no one is above the law and that workers are not discriminated against based on their gender, sexual orientation, race, disability, or age. Following the law would ensure that employers provide a favorable working environment where every worker would feel comfortable. Eliminating discrimination facilitates the provision of equal opportunities to every worker. However, it was clear that UPS Freight oppressed disabled workers since they could work efficiently like others in the company.

The case revealed problems suffered by people with disabilities when seeking employment and in their workplaces. It was unfair to treat Mr. Diebold more badly than drunkard drivers arrested on the road. The company failed to give time to the employee to pass the medical test to allow him back to the driving duties but instead decided to reduce his salary (EEOC, 2020). This became the source of low esteem and the development of a negative attitude towards the work and environment.

Workplace benefits should be issued without any discrimination, and companies must establish practices and policies that prevent the oppression of some workers. The UPS Freight was expected to take measures such as improving the current CBA with the Teamsters to ensure that every worker is provided with a favorable working environment that is free from any detrimental effects (EEOC, 2017). It is not acceptable to rely on a union agreement, particularly in case it extends discrimination against people with disabilities. EEOC was established to respond to employees who feel that their issues are not addressed properly by the company supervisors and managers. The commission played a critical role in ensuring that Mr. Diebold and the other 89 workers were compensated for being discriminated against by UPS Freight. This shows that the federal body is responsible and determined to enforce laws and ensure workers are not discriminated against in the workplace. The case shows the government’s commitment to the protection of its citizens, particularly those who are powerless.


Burden, L. (2020). UPS Freight and EEOC settle disparate treatment suits for $75K. HR Dive. Web.

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Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, (2020). UPS Freight to pay $75,000 to resolve disability discrimination lawsuit. Web.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, (2017). EEOC sues UPS Freight for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act. Web.

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