The U.S. Postal Service will pay almost $17.3 million to settle allegations of discrimination against employees with disabilities.
The class-action complaint covers some 41,000 past and current Postal Service workers whose work hours may have been restricted from 2000 through last year because of permanent disabilities. The complaint charged that the practice violated the 1973 Rehabilitation Act, which bars federal agencies from discriminating against disabled employees.
In the settlement, which received preliminary approval from an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission administrative judge last month, the agency denied wrongdoing, but said it wanted to avoid the expense of continued litigation.
Out of the total settlement amount, John Mosby, lead attorney for the plaintiffs, and other lawyers representing the class will split about $4.3 million and could also recoup up to another $750,000 in expenses, subject to approval by the judge and the Postal Service.
While the remainder averages out to about $300 per employee, it is unclear how much each will actually receive. The final amount will hinge on several factors, including how many people file claims, according to a ‘frequently asked questions” section on the website detailing the settlement.
Mosby could not be reached for comment.
Although the settlement still needs final approval from the EEOC, members of the class are supposed to get formal notification of the agreement next week.