Deaf FedEx Worker Gets $108K in ADA Suit

March 6, 2006 ( - A deaf Federal Express worker has won a $108,000 federal court jury award after the package delivery company did not provide him with a sign language interpreter, in violation of federal workplace law.

The jury award came in a lawsuit filed on behalf of plaintiff Ronald Lockhart by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which alleged that the company violated the requirements in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), reported.

Under the ADA, employers are required to provide disabled workers with “reasonable accommodations” to perform their job functions.

Lockhart worked as a package handler at the company’s Baltimore Ramp and repeatedly requested an interpreter’s services be provided.

“This verdict sends victims and their employers a big message,” asserted EEOC regional attorney Jacqueline McNair. “Employers must provide reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities. It is the employer’s responsibility to demonstrate that it is committed to fully adhere to the requirements of the ADA on behalf of disabled employees, and that they are not to be treated like second-class citizens.”