Over EEOC objections, a trial to determine whether FedEx discriminated against deaf employees has been moved from Baltimore to a Pittsburgh courtroom. FedEx sought the change of venue, noting that its headquarters and those responsible for developing company policies on training and accommodation are based in Pittsburgh.
Judge William T. Nicholson in the federal district of Maryland agreed and granted FedEx’s motion.
The case turns on whether FedEx provided equal access to training and information to deaf employees, as required by the ADA. The EEOC filed the case in Baltimore on behalf of 17 named plaintiffs and an unspecified number of “similarly aggrieved individuals.”
The case dates back to 2006 when claims first arose that FedEx failed to provide sign language interpreters or other means that would allow hearing-impaired workers to participate fully in training and the workplace. The company noted that many of the employees who will testify have retired and most live in the Pittsburgh area.