UPS ordered to reinstate epileptic driver

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit upheld a district court’s determination that UPS had discriminated on the basis of disability under the Maine Human Rights Act for refusing to reinstate an epileptic commercial vehicle driver.

UPS had argued that its action was acceptable given that federal law prohibits persons with epilepsy from driving commercial vehicles of 10,001 pounds or more. State law regulates the driving of trucks under that weight, but UPS refused to reinstate the driver to operate the 8,500-pound vehicle that he drove before the diagnosis.

The lower court ruled that UPS had the burden to prove its safety claim. The driver received back pay of more than $74,000 and was ordered reinstated.