Blind Man Resolves Employment Discrimination Case with Amazon.com
National Federation of the Blind Provided Legal Assistance
Vacaville, California (May 23, 2019): Alfredo Estrada has reached an agreement with Amazon.com to resolve claims that Mr. Estrada filed in July 2018 with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing. He was represented by the TRE Legal Practice with the assistance of the National Federation of the Blind.
Mr. Estrada, who is blind, was hired for a part-time sortation associate position at the Amazon.com sortation center in Vacaville and requested accommodations when reporting for his first day of work in October 2017. He alleges that Amazon.com did not participate in the interactive process for reasonable accommodations required by the Americans with Disabilities Act and improperly denied him the opportunity to work. Amazon denies wrongdoing or liability. However, the parties were able to engage in meaningful discussion and jointly reach a resolution.
Amazon.com, which already provides training on the legally required interactive process regarding requests for accommodation, has agreed to provide further training at its Vacaville sortation center on this important issue. It has also committed to engage in further assessment and interaction with Mr. Estrada to determine his ability to work in the position for which he was hired with reasonable accommodations.
Mr. Estrada, whose vision is restricted to a very limited, pinhole central visual field following an accident when he was a teenager, received associate degrees in mechanical engineering technology and aircraft maintenance technology from City College of San Francisco. He then worked for more than twenty years as an airline mechanic at United Airlines at San Francisco International Airport, with reasonable accommodations such as additional training time and a person assigned to him for a finite period to assist in orienting him to his work environment.
“I have education and skills and want to work,” said Mr. Estrada. “I am looking forward to the opportunity to prove that I can do the job I was hired for.”
“The National Federation of the Blind is committed to ensuring that blind people can find employment that meets their aspirations and qualifications without discrimination,” said Mark Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind. “Our goal is for all blind Americans to have equal employment opportunities in order to live the lives they want.”