- Bates v. UPS (2007)
DREDF joined with a coalition of disability and employment rights groups in submitting an amicus brief to the Ninth Circuit in Bates v. UPS. This is a continuation of our amicus involvement in a long-running class-action case on behalf of employees who are deaf or hard of hearing, challenging defendant’s across-the-board use of U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) hearing standards to exclude individuals who are deaf from its driving jobs, even jobs that involve driving non-DOT regulated delivery vehicles. DREDF had previously participated in a 2005 amicus effort in support of plaintiff arguing that the UPS blanket exclusion is based on stereotyped generalizations about disability, and fails to comply with legally required individualized assessment analysis that appropriately balances the public policy goals of nondiscrimination and public safety. In October 2006, the Ninth Circuit issued a panel decision, upholding the favorable district court decision under the federal ADA, and reversing the California law part of the lower court opinion, which involved the Unruh Civil Rights Act. That panel decision (now invalid) is Bates v. UPS, 465 F.3d 1069 (9th Cir. 2006). In November 2006, UPS petitioned the Ninth Circuit for rehearing en banc, which has been granted. The arguments made remain the same.