The Atlanta Business Chronicle reports that the EEOC alleges Eugenio D’Oliveira, a 17-year veteran of UPS, was fired after a new supervisor complained he was a threat to his own safety and others’ safety because of his retinitis pigmentosa visual impairment. D’Oliveira had an employment record free from any safety violations prior to his termination in July 2004, the EEOC said.
D’Oliveira was suspended in April 2004 and asked to provide medical documentation about his degenerative eye condition, which he did in June, according to the Business Chronicle. The EEOC says UPS concluded D’Oliveira could not safely perform his job and fired him without consulting his physician and without any objective medical or factual evidence, and failed to determine whether any reasonable accommodation could reduce the threat to safety it believed D’Oliveira presented.
In response, UPS issued a statement saying, in part, “UPS has a long record and tradition of hiring people with disabilities and we have many workers with disabilities in a wide variety of jobs throughout our workforce.”
UPS was accused of religious discrimination in March when the EEOC filed suit on behalf of a Rastafarian who claimed he was denied a driver position due to his beard (See EEOC Sues UPS for Rastafarian Denied Job Due to Beard ). UPS calls the claim unfounded, saying the man never completed the application process.