United Airlines to Pay $850,000 for Disability Discrimination

United Airlines has agreed to settle a federal lawsuit alleging that the Chicago-based company's overtime policy violated the Americans with Disabilities Act, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced March 16. According to EEOC's suit and settlement (CV 09 0784 EMC) filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Northern California, United will pay $850,000 to a class of employees with disabilities and has agreed not to enforce such a policy in the future.

The suit arose from a charge filed by Samuel Chetcuti, a storekeeper working for United at the San Francisco International Airport. EEOC's suit asserted that United's policy of denying the opportunity to work overtime to anyone placed on light or limited duty had greater repercussions for employees with disabilities, since these workers were more likely to be assigned to light duty. For example, Chetcuti, who has epilepsy, was under medical restrictions that prevented him from operating heavy machinery and working at heights, but did not restrict the number of hours a week he could work. Chetcuti was given light duty for his regular work schedule, and as a result, United had barred him from an overtime schedule despite the fact that he was medically cleared to work overtime.

EEOC San Francisco Regional Attorney William R. Tamayo said, "This blanket policy barring employees working with restrictions from overtime work had a disproportionate impact on workers with disabilities. It runs counter to the ADA's goal that each employee be evaluated individually on whether they can get the job done, with or without an accommodation. We appreciate that United Airlines has agreed to settle this case and rescind this policy."

The settlement also requires United to notify all current and former employees at the San Francisco Airport who were subject to the rescinded policy and invite them to submit claims to share in the $850,000. Claims may also be submitted to EEOC attorney David Offen-Brown at 350 The Embarcadero, Suite 500, San Francisco, CA 94105 or [email protected].

"Disability does not mean inability," said EEOC San Francisco District Director Michael Baldonado. "The ADA encourages us all to focus on opening doors to all a worker can do and discourages the closing of doors through restrictive stereotypes about disabilities, such as what you may think that person cannot do."

According to www.united.com, United Airlines is one of the largest international carriers based in the United States, with 52,000 employees worldwide and operating nearly 3,000 flights a day to more than 200 U.S. domestic and international destinations from its hubs in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, Chicago and Washington, D.C.

Download Center

  • Industrial Premium Library

    Empower your workforce with the manufacturing, industrial maintenance, operations, HSE, compliance, and professional development skills they need to complete their tasks efficiently and safely. Not only will you boost productivity, reliability, skills, and morale but you’ll also onboard faster, and retain your best employees while meeting regulatory standards. Vector Solutions offers over 1,800 award-winning eLearning courses designed to keep your employees safe, transfer knowledge of fundamentals, and develop industry and job-specific skills that reduce downtime, maintenance costs and more.

  • Safety Metrics & Insights Webinar

    EHS professionals have been tackling the subject of how to best measure performance for many years. Lagging indicators like the Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR) and Days Away Restricted Transfer Rate (DART) are a good place to start, but you shouldn’t forget about the leading indicators that your workforce does every day to prevent incidents from occurring. Learn about some of the most common KPIs of safety programs and how Vector EHS Management software can be used to track these metrics in this webinar.

  • Risk Matrix Guide

    Understanding the components of a risk matrix will allow you and your organization to manage risk effectively. Download this guide for details on risk matrix calculations including severity, probability, and risk assessment.

  • OSHA Recordkeeping Guide

    In case you missed it, OSHA recently initiated an enforcement program to identify employers who fail to electronically submit Form 300A recordkeeping data to the agency. When it comes to OSHA recordkeeping, there are always questions regarding the requirements and ins and outs. This guide is here to help! We’ll explain reporting, recording, and online reporting requirements in detail.

  • Safety Metrics Guide

    Is your company leveraging its safety data and analytics to maintain a safe workplace? With so much data available, where do you start? This downloadable guide will give you insight on helpful key performance indicators (KPIs) you should track for your safety program

  • Vector Solutions

Featured Whitepaper

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - September 2022

    September 2022

    Featuring:

    • ESG
      EHS Will Guide Future ESG Success for Many Organizations
    • MACHINE GUARDING
      Handling Material Handlers: Training Beyond PIT Requirements
    • EHS SOFTWARE
      The Missing Link with EHS Software
    • HEARING PROTECTION
      Noise Surveys from the Trenches
    View This Issue