Daily News - Philly.com
December 10, 2015
AS A deaf employee, Michael MacDonald can do his work as a package handler at the United Parcel Service facility at Philadelphia International Airport without assistance.
But when it comes to employee meetings and to understanding certain things - such as safety and emergency procedures, company policies and procedures, and some other workplace communications - he needs an American Sign Language interpreter.
Federal law - the Americans with Disabilities Act - "requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to otherwise qualified individuals with disabilities so that they can enjoy equal employment opportunities and participate fully in the workplace," said Julie Foster, an attorney at the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia, which filed a lawsuit on MacDonald's behalf.
Read more . . . UPS
Louisiana Record | Louisiana's Legal Journal
May 12, 2015
NEW ORLEANS – Last week the Louisiana Supreme Court handed down a legal precedent that appears to put a halt on several tort cases in which employees working in loud work places have sued their employers for personal injury over hearing loss instead of pursuing workers’ compensation actions.
Over the past few years there has been an uptick in the number of personal injury lawsuits filed by industrial workers who claim they received personal injuries through working in loud, mostly industrial workplaces.
However, the Louisiana Supreme Court ruled last week in favor of defendant Graphic Packing International Inc., the owner and operator of a paper mill, box and carton plant in West Monroe where plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit claim their hearing was damaged due to being subjected to hazardous industrial noises during their employment at the facility. While the 4th Judicial District Court in Ouachita Parish initially ruled in favor of the plaintiffs and granted them damages of $50,000 apiece, that ruling was later overturned on appeal to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.
In a 5-2 ruling, the Louisiana Supreme Court upheld the appeals court finding in favor of Graphic Packing International Inc. The majority decision noted that while the hearing loss may have occurred it was during the course and scope of the class members’ employment which should be regulated as an “occupational disease” under the Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Act.
Read more . . . workplace hearing loss
YAKIMA, Wash. — A Utah man has filed a federal discrimination lawsuit against Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences, claiming the school refused to allow him to study medicine because he is deaf.
In court papers filed in U.S. District Court in Yakima, Zachary Featherstone said the Terrace Heights-based school violated federal and state anti-discrimination statutes, as well as breached a contract with him when it barred his enrollment. The suit seeks unspecified damages, a pledge against future discrimination and Featherstone’s enrollment in the university’s College of Osteopathic Medicine.
“It’s definitely been his lifelong dream to become a doctor, and he knows he can be successful at (PNWU) and as a doctor,” said Emily Teplin Fox, an attorney with Markowitz, Herbold, Glade and Mehlhaf in Portland, one of two law firms representing Featherstone in the suit. “They just need to give him a chance.”
Read more . . .