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Press Release 09-22-2023

EEOC Sues UPS for Disability Discrimination in Hiring

UPS Maintained Illegal Policy Excluding Deaf and Hearing-Impaired Individuals from Driver Positions, Federal Agency Charges

CHICAGO – United Parcel Service (UPS) violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by maintaining a discriminatory policy of refusing to hire or reasonably accommodate deaf or hearing-impaired individuals for driver positions of vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds, even when the Department of Transportation (DOT) had authorized the practice, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today.  

According to the EEOC’s suit, the UPS policy is an illegal qualification standard that screens out disabled individuals. As alleged, the policy has resulted in a class of aggrieved individuals being denied driver positions, despite the fact that they could have completed training and performed the jobs at issue with reasonable accommodations. The DOT granted the affected individuals authorization to drive trucks over 10,000 pounds through a program exempting them from a hearing test and instead uses alternative criteria to ensure an equivalent level of driver safety.

Such alleged conduct violates the ADA. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The case, EEOC v. UPS, Civil Action No. 1:23-cv-14021, was filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

“Just because someone is deaf does not mean they cannot drive safely, said Gregory Gochanour, EEOC’s regional attorney in Chicago. “That is why the Department of Transportation grants hearing exemptions.”

Acting Chicago District Director Diane Smason said, “Discriminatory policies that exclude deaf individuals from good jobs like the ones at issue in this case, without any valid reason, are illegal under the ADA.”

For more information on disability discrimination, please visit

The EEOC’s Chicago District Office is responsible for processing charges of discrimination, administrative enforcement and the conduct of agency litigation in Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and North and South Dakota, with offices in Milwaukee and Minneapolis.

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available on its website at Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.