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  • Writer's pictureKirstin Kennedy

PA man claims disability discrimination against UPS

For immediate release

PITTSBURGH – A Pennsylvania man has filed suit against the United Parcel Service, Inc., and has alleged that his requests for reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act was ignored by the company.

According to a complaint filed in the Western District Court of Pennsylvania, Plaintiff Daryl Hershberger began working for the United Parcel Service, Inc. (“UPS”) in July 2018 as a package handler at the New Stanton, Pennsylvania location. Mr. Hershberger’s job duties included pulling packages off of rails and loading them onto tractor trailers, according to the complaint. He alleged in the filing that, prior to his employment with UPS, he was injured in a car crash that led to the surgical implantation of rods and pins into both of his legs. According to the complaint, this left Mr. Hershberger with a “significantly and permanently diminished capacity to walk.” In addition to this physical disability, he is also legally deaf and suffers from diabetes, according to the filing.

Because of his disabilities, Mr. Hershberger alleged that his doctor ordered him to limit his working to no more than three days per week. According to the complaint, when he was hired by UPS, he notified management of his disabilities and his required accommodation. UPS management agreed to the arrangement, and Mr. Hershberger was only scheduled to work three days per week, according to the filing.

In mid-2019, according to the complaint, UPS management informed Mr. Hershberger that he would no longer receive his accommodation, and he would be required to work five days per week. Mr. Hershberger reminded management that he had been granted a reasonable accommodation for his disabilities and submitted a physician’s note reaffirming that he was not medically cleared to work five days per week, according to the complaint. Despite this, Mr. Hershberger alleged that UPS management told him that being granted his accommodation was not fair to other employees.

According to the complaint, Mr. Hershberger met with his supervisor and a representative from his union on July 29, 2019 to discuss the revocation of his accommodation. During this time, according to the filing, Mr. Hershberger was issued an official warning regarding his attendance. He alleged that his union responded to the warning by explaining that the issued letter was vague and failed to define the term “unacceptable attendance record.” At that time, according to the filing, the union representative also requested a copy of Mr. Hershberger’s attendance record. This request went unanswered, and his attendance record was never provided, he alleged.

Around this time, Mr. Hershberger was briefly moved to a well-ventilated area in the UPS facility, in compliance with his doctor’s order, according to the filing. However, soon after, he alleged that he was moved to the “Tan-Belt” section of the facility, which is one of the hottest and most physically demanding job areas. According to the complaint, Mr. Hershberger again noted that he was not physically capable of working in the hot and challenging conditions. This time, instead of resuming his accommodation, Defendant called Mr. Hershberger into a meeting where he was placed on a three-day suspension, according to the filing.

Mr. Hershberger alleged that he was never offered an accommodation or advised of his rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act. At the conclusion of his suspension, according to the filing, Mr. Hershberger made several calls to UPS officials to arrange his return to work; however, no calls were answered or returned despite Mr. Hershberger leaving voice messages. According to the filing, he then received an official notice of discharge, claiming he failed to report to his scheduled shifts, and that he failed to contact UPS management.

Lead Attorney Sean Ruppert alleged in the three-count complaint that UPS engaged in a failure to accommodate, retaliation, and discrimination against Mr. Hershberger in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Prior to the filing of the lawsuit, Mr. Hershberger filed a complaint through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and was provided a right to sue. The lawsuit was filed by Attorney Ruppert on March 11, 2020.

Ruppert Manes Narahari is a Pittsburgh-based employment law firm representing workers who have been wrongfully terminated, harassed, or cheated by their employers. The firm also provides business law-related services and represents small businesses and entrepreneurs in startup, transactional, and litigation matters.

For more information on the claims made by Mr. Hershberger against the United Parcel Service, Inc., contact the law office of Ruppert Manes Narahari at 412-626-5626.

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