Glover/Albrecht v. Potter
U.S. POSTAL SERVICE AGREES TO LARGEST EVER DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION SETTLEMENT – $61 MILLION
(Press Release) Under a class action settlement announced today, the United States Postal Service will pay $61 million to resolve the workplace disability discrimination claims of over 7500 current and former postal workers. Over $53 million will be distributed directly to the workers, the balance represents attorneys fees and expenses of the attorneys who have been litigating the case over the last 14 years.
The case, Glover/Albrecht v. Potter, involves denial of promotion and advancement opportunities to U.S. Postal Service employees with workplace disabilities who had been placed in dead end “rehabilitation” positions. Nearly a third of the employees in rehabilitation positions since 1992 will recover under the settlement. The recovery is by far the largest in a disability discrimination employment class action.
Under an Initial Settlement announced in 2004, the discriminatory policy was ended, and over 10,543 of the more than 25,000 rehabilitation workers filed claims of disability discrimination. After review, 3057 of the claims were dismissed, leaving 7512 claims to be resolved. After extensive mediation, the Postal Service and the attorneys for the workers reached this Global Settlement, which was preliminarily approved by a federal administrative judge on May 23, 2007. Formal notice will be sent to the class members by June 22, and the judge must review any objections to the settlement and then approve it before it becomes final.
Under the settlement, claimants who sign a release will receive their shares by November 2007. Those who do not sign a release will receive their shares after any appeal of the approval of the settlement, which could take a year or more.
Denver attorney John Mosby, lead counsel for the class, has fought this case for over 14 years. “I am happy that a case that started out as an individual claim by one worker, has led to a measure of justice for thousands.”
Brad Seligman of The Impact Fund, a Berkeley, California nonprofit law firm that led the negotiations for the class, explained the importance of the settlement: “While disability class actions are rare, this case shows that stigmatizing employees because of their status can have enormous consequences.”
The class was also represented by Elisa Moran of Denver, and Marilyn Cain Gordon of Washington D.C.
The case arose in 1993, when Chandler Glover, a Denver Postal worker, filed a claim of discrimination. Later, Dean Albrecht of Clearwater, Florida, joined as co-class representative. The class representatives each receive $85,000 in the settlement.
Further information, including the settlement documents, may be found at www.gloverclass.com
Related link: His pain defeated Postal Service – Frustrated, [Dean] Albrecht filed what eventually became a class action lawsuit against the U.S. Postal Service on behalf of injured employees.