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A federal judge on Monday stayed his own ruling that UPS must give hearing impaired workers the same employment opportunities as others to become truck drivers. U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson last month ruled UPS Inc. violates anti-discrimination laws by barring the deaf and hearing-impaired from driving parcel delivery trucks. Henderson had ruled the Atlanta-based company’s practices violate the Americans with Disabilities Act, and ordered the service to change its policies within 30 days. Henderson stayed that ruling Monday so UPS could appeal to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. Henderson’s stay means its policy barring the deaf from operating trucks weighing less than 10,000 pounds won’t be changed pending the outcome of lengthy appeals. Last month, in a class-action case in San Francisco representing as many as 1,000 would-be drivers, Henderson said those with poor hearing should “be given the same opportunities that a hearing applicant would be given to show that they can perform the job of package-car driver safely and effectively.” The federal government bars the hearing impaired from operating trucks weighing more than 10,000 pounds. UPS says hearing impaired drivers pose a safety risk. Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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