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USPS Reaches $17.3M Disability Discrimination Settlement

By Anne Bucher


USPSThe U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has agreed to pay nearly $17.3 million to settle allegations that the agency discriminated against employees with disabilities.

The class action lawsuit was filed on behalf of 41,000 past and current USPS workers whose hours may have been restricted because of permanent disabilities from 2000-2012. The plaintiffs allege that the USPS violated the 1973 Rehabilitation Act, a law that prevents federal agencies from discriminating against disabled workers.

In 2000, Edmond Walker filed an individual discrimination complaint against the USPS. He claimed that the USPS had discriminated against him based on his permanent rehabilitation status when his duty hours were restricted to just 14 hours per week. He was also denied the opportunity to work overtime. In 2005, his claim was certified as a class action lawsuit by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Eligible members of this USPS disability discrimination settlement include permanent rehabilitation employees who had their work hours restricted. Restricted work hours refer to limitations imposed by the USPS on the actual number of hours the employee could work. These restrictions allegedly resulted in the denial of overtime.

Plaintiffs allege that the Postal Service discriminated against employees with disabilities by wrongfully placing them in permanent rehabilitation positions without following the interactive process that is legally required. They also allege that the hour restrictions were arbitrary and not based on the employee’s actual abilities as determined by a physician. In addition, they allege that the USPS did not allow disabled employees to use assistive devices to accommodate their disabilities, even if the assistive devices posed no safety threat or inconvenience to the workplace.

The USPS has denied any wrongdoing, but agreed to settle the class action lawsuit to avoid the expense of ongoing litigation. The settlement has received preliminary approval from an EEOC administrative judge last month. If finalized, Class Members could be eligible to receive up to $300 per employee. However, the actual amount Class Members will receive depends on how many workers file claims.

While the settlement still requires final approval from the EEOC, Class Members are expected to receive formal notification of the settlement agreement next week. More information can be found at

This class action lawsuit is not the first to accuse the USPS of discrimination against employees with disabilities. In 2007, the agency agreed to pay $61 million to resolve allegations from USPS workers who claimed they were placed in jobs with little opportunity for advancement due to their disabilities. As part of the settlement agreement, the agency agreed to several policy changes. Some of these changes included rewriting training manuals, setting up a hotline for employment problems, issuing notices related to the rights of workers in rehabilitation positions and providing statistical information about the promotions of employees in these rehabilitation positions. This settlement agreement was one of the biggest of its type.

The USPS Disability Discrimination Class Action Lawsuit case is Edmund Walker, et al. v. Patrick R. Donahoe, Case No. 541-2008-00188X.

Plaintiffs are represented by John Mosby, Marilyn Cain Gordon, Elisa J. Moran and John W. Davis.

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Updated June 29th, 2013


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  • Ernest Devers.Jr. September 18, 2013

    Keep me informed to all develoments to these lawsuits that I am party to. Thanks and may God bless- Ernest Devers. Jr.

  • Valorie L. Chivers September 23, 2013

    I am signed up as part of this class action suit and I have heard absolutely nothing about it, even though other people I know that is also in it has been paid. I need to know why I haven’t recieved anything. Thank You

  • John Holmgren October 29, 2013

    I was a postal worker durring this time and was fired due to my diability that I was hired with why did I not know about this class action law suit and if it is not completely settled why can’t I be part of it.

  • larry gatlin November 15, 2013

    will bring letter i received next time i come .hopefull sat. luv LLG

  • Sharon D. Smith December 28, 2013

    I had to file for disability retirement in December 2005 although I had planned on working until I was 55 which would have been in April 2012. During my disability hearing the postmaster told them that the USPS could not put me in the clerk craft because automation was taking those jobs even though there are still clerks there. I had to fight for over 2 years to get my disability even though I could have worked in the clerk craft. I was in the carrier craft. I find it asinine that,as mentioned in the case, class members would receive $300. After the attorneys get there fees, there is supposed to be $12 million left. Where is all that going? Since this was supposed to have been finalized by now, I would think I would have heard something by now on how many points I was given since the letter I got said that everyone would be paid according to how many points they ended up with. So I would assume that different people would be paid different amounts but only $300. I sure would hope that was a typo. Also, why have I not received any form as to whether I want to accept this settlement or go on my own? Something doesn’t add up here. If anyone has any information on any of this, please let me know by submitting here as information has not been forthcoming keeping us informed.

  • James E. Blake, Jr. November 19, 2014

    I sent in my paperwork 1/7/2012 and have heard nothing since. I hope to hear something soon.

  • Karen buie January 13, 2015

    Unfortunately, we just got screwed again. The Postal Servuce, EEO and the Attorneys. I suppose we will receive our just reward in heaven, because 300 dollars after 12 years and the humiliation, disrespect and the constant harassment is another slap in the face. I don’t know if anyone who has received any funds. Just damn sad!

  • Marion G Allen January 22, 2016

    I filed claim form in June of 2014 to receive settlement and have not heard anything or receive any settlement

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