The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination has hit United Parcel Service with a second substantial judgment for discriminating against a Massachusetts employee. This time, the complaint was for handicap bias by UPS in Springfield, Massachusetts. After a trial at the MCAD, UPS was ordered to pay almost $750,000 in lost wages and another $125,000 in emotional distress.
The case of William Anderson, Jr. v. UPS was decided in March 2010. It involved a handicapped man who sought a reasonable accommodation but was denied by UPS, which refused to engage in a required interactive discussion with Mr. Anderson, made unreasonable demands, and, according to the Commission, placed form over substance as it violated Massachusetts anti-discrimination law. “Respondent’s approach to the reasonable accommodation process was long on formality, short on meaningful communication,” the Commission wrote. UPS took unauthorized photos that made demonstrated Mr. Anderson’s condition but still claimed to be uninformed about it. UPS was “rigid and unyielding” in its approach to Mr. Anderson and refused to engage in a flexible dialogue toward a mutually acceptable accommodation of his disabilities, the commission concluded. With interest and legal fees, the award could exceed $1 million. [Read more…]