100 % medical release

Discussion in 'UPS Discussions' started by Michael Tumposky, Feb 14, 2006.

  1. Has anyone every heard of a "100% release" or "100% medical release" policy in which UPS requires anyone returning from medical leave to be 100% cleared to work, without any limitations or restrictions such as "no heavy lifting"?
  2. spidey

    spidey Member

    If you are injured off the job you must have a 100% medical release, no restrictions whatsoever, before you can return to work. Most companies require this. There is no TAW for off the job injuries.
  3. Yes. Get yourself the best comp lawyer in your state.
  4. abbear

    abbear New Member

    Yes. I am currently in rehab for an at work shoulder injury with a tentative return to work date of April 15th. I have been told that I will be expected to be 100% the first day (and I would expect nothing less from UPS) and am pounding it into my doc and pt person that I will need to be at that level. My first day at work will undoubtedly be a visit to the company doc and the second day a ride along from a sup.

    UPS may allow you to come back to light duty. I had light duty back in Sep for a month and have been told I won't get any coming back. It is really up to them. And you really don't want to go back until you are 100% for your own protection.

    I have a little bit of experience in this. My shoulder was damaged back in 2000 and I have been getting a cortisone injection twice a year until in Aug of 2005 the shot did not bring any relief. Each time I was put on light duty for ten days as the injection has a pain killer in it that would not let me feel if I was doing damage. Then it was time for surgery and now I visit the 'mistress of pain' (PT) once a week. It has not been easy - I have had problems with both the union disability insurance and the company playing with timecards. A call to Chuck Mack seems to have fixed the union one and a corporate complaint finally seems to have resolved the other.

    Good luck to you.

  5. wily_old_vet

    wily_old_vet New Member

    abbear-if this is a "at work" injury why is union disability insurance a problem. You should be covered by workers comp. As far as time cards for light duty, good luck. One piece of advice. Work it out with your doctor to come back to work in the middle of the week, not Monday. A nurse with UPS once gave me that advice and I can testify that coming back on a Monday is a mistake. I did that after being out for back surgery and thought I was going to die by the end of the week. I know your pt is for your shoulder but do some serious exercise for your legs so getting in and out of the pkg car doesn't kill you. Good luck:thumbup1:
  6. abbear

    abbear New Member

    Wily -
    In Ca you are paid your comp based on the date of injury. Since mine was in 2000 I am getting $600 a week as opposed to $850. The union disability is a whopping $40 a week, but every little bit helps and you shouldn't have to fight them for 5 months to get that pittance.

    Time cards all of a sudden weren't a problem when I called the corporate integrity hot line and filed a complaint that included the phrase "I will call the EEOC and file a harassment of injured worker complaint if this is not rectified in 2 weeks". I'm not going to swear that that was what really got them going or the fact that I had several hourly and mgmt witnesses to the harassment that was going on ( the manager who was doing this went around bragging about it).

    As far as keeping the legs in shape I am walking 40 - 50 miles a week in the hills around here and am spending time on the stair climber at the gym. Trust me - I am working hard to be in better shape going back than I was when I was hurt.

    I have seven years to go and I plan on making it if for no other reason than to spite them - Oh yea - and for that retirement health care we got out west here.
  7. mtumposky

    mtumposky New Member

    Thank you to all those who replied. This issue is more of an ADA thing than a compensation problem. I am trying to locate people who have been told about this 100% release policy, whether for on-the-job or off-the-job injuries and also whether they have something in writing from UPS indicating such a policy exists. If it does exist, I believe it would be a per se violation of the ADA, since it seems to indicate "we don't accomodate."
  8. spidey

    spidey Member

    There is a lot of confusion with returning to work, but this is my, and mine only, opinion of 100%.

    If you are off work for something non-work related, in other words if you were not injured at work, the company can not allow you back until your doctor says that you are 100% able to safely perform your duties. If you come back and reinjure yourself without that release, then the company is at fault. It is a horrid insurance mess. This has been policy at several large companies I've worked for. If you were not injured on the job the company has no obligation, and in many positions, can't if they wanted to, give you alternate work until you heal completely. This isn't a UPS-out-to-get-hourly issue, it's an insurance issue. Varies very much from case to case, so keep asking questions until you are satisfied with the answers.

    If you are recovering from something you are not disabled, legally, in most cases. No ADA issue.
  9. It should be noted that Michael Tumposky is a lawyer, not an injured UPS employee.
  10. Load Stand

    Load Stand Guest

    You lawyers...trying to suck money out of another corporation that provides solid employment to thousands...go waste Fed Ex's expenses in defense please...that is an employer that does not care about its' employees.

    You are tying to argue about something that you lawyers like to manipulate to their own advantage....we ask that employees simply can meet their essential job functions....in essence a 100% release for their job...quit fixating on terminology....and trying to get something for nothing....the ADA is meant for those with disabilities that impact major life functions...not some simple soft tissue strains that some of you lawyers choose to represent and find ways to get more money for yourself and your claimant...you make me sick!
  11. trickpony1

    trickpony1 Well-Known Member

    So what if he is?
    Ever consider that he might have the balls to go up against our company on behalf of a disabled employee?
    The company has shown numerous times that it apparently thinks it is above the laws that apply to everyone else.
    You are not bullet-proof, no one is. You might need an individual like this one day.
    Be careful what you wish for.
    I wish him the best and Godspeed.
  12. trickpony1

    trickpony1 Well-Known Member

    "....not some simple soft tissue strains...." such as:

    1) intervertebral discs
    2) cartilage in the knees, shoulders, hips and ankles
    3) ligaments, tendons in associated joints

    .....all of which can come back to haunt an injured worker.

    I can only guess that you are in management where it is acceptable to come to work wearing wrist, ankle and knee braces and on medication for the pain that would disqualify a DOT certification.

    "....that is an employer that does not care about its' employees". Try having an on the job injury and see how much loving care you receive from the company.

    OOPS!...I take that back. The company will send you to the company doctor for a bottle of ibuprofen and a pat on the bottom.
  13. abbear

    abbear New Member

    My shoulder injury has resulted in a state disability rating on my shoulders. My doc has requested a vehicle with power steering (we have them - I have an old p500) and the company has responded that they will not give me one until they would anyway. To do otherwise would be an accomadation an UPS does not accomodate. To date my injury has cost the company over 100,000 dollars easy. We have 3 others drivers with the same type of injury (out of 40 drivers).

    To the gentleman who wanted the attorney to waste FedEx's money - I guess I agree with you. Ups is doing a pretty good job of wasting its money all by itself.
  14. abbear, I was given an accommodation to have a power steering vehicle because of a shoulder injury caused by faulty steering on a p500. For my last five years with the company I never drove a manual steering truck until a crappy manager came along. He only tried it once.

    Get a good doctor and a good lawyer. My doctor was actually on Oprah (FWIW) and my lawyer was the best in the state. YMMV. Good luck.

    PS---I only pointed out that the original poster wasa lawyer because he made it sound as if he was an employee. Some posters who have represented themselves to be management have replied to him spouting comapany policy that they are probably not really privey to, or in a position to respond to. Any lawyer that would look for advice here is probably not worth it anyway.
  15. Hangingon

    Hangingon New Member

    We have been told the same thing. They will not make any accommodations when it comes to power steering or automatics, no matter what your doctor recommends. We have had a few people have a relapse on an injury because of this, but of course, good luck proving it.
  16. Load Stand

    Load Stand Guest

    Let me first address the comparison between UPS and FedEX caring about its' employees...which company provides extensive healthcare and pension benefits for all of its' employees? Try speaking to a FedEx Ground Driver and see what he does when he is injured while providing services for his company? Or even a true FedEx employee that must pay a much greater portion for his healthcare - I do not even know about retirment benefits that they may offer.

    As for soft tissue versus other more complicated problems, granted there are those UPSers that injure themselves more severe than others, either through work or outside of work. The UPS employee at least has Disability or Workers' Comp coverage that helps them.

    In regards to accomodations, UPS is simply following the ADA that was established in 1990. The definition of a person with a disability is where everyone is getting hung up on. UPS has an ADA process that determines if the employee is a Qualified Individual with a Disability (QID). If not QID, then the company has no basis of which to accomodate. If we accomodate for one person and not for others, or we apply rules that do not apply, then we get into fairness issues. Can you imagine what it would be like to operate a package delivery company with everyone throwing up restrictions of different severity trying to get less manual jobs? The solution is to run the employee through the ADA process and if eligible for an accomodation, it is up to the company to provide a reasonable accomodation, "reasonable" would be another term to evaluate.

    Look, I know everyone is not 100% medically at all times. The boundaries that we as an employers must work within are specified in the ADA law. We have Essential Job Functions for each job and either you can do them or not. If you are QID, then you may be eligible for an accomodation.

    Yes, it is unfortunate that some employees may no longer be able to work at UPS in their pre-injury position, either because of work-related issues or non-work related issues. There are other jobs though outside of UPS that you can possibly do. UPS cannot bend and twist for each range of disability and protect itself from unfairness lawsuits. One thing that UPS will do for union employees is to keep them employed until there are no options. Other non-union employers give you either 6-12 months before they administratively terminate you and you are gone. In comparison, UPS is truly a more caring company but you cannot function as business without following some order. Could you imagine how to run a package operation if one employee must have this accomodation and one employee needs this accomodation. We have a tough enough time trying to get our packages properly delivered each day without all of the potential mess that some are suggesting.

    UPS is following the law and this attorney is looking for some way to get something for nothing. Granted, those with power steering restrictions may result in some sort comp payout because they cannot return - hence they are provided for. These short term losses for the company far outweighs the potential problems and suits that could arise if we do not fairmly administer any accomodation. And at least the employee has some compensation available to them.
  17. happybob

    happybob Feeders

    You sound like a manager load stand. The company does not comply with the ADA. Go get a copy of the consent decree they signed with the EEOC in the Desert Area. It, their lack of compliance with the ADA, cost them almost $500,000. Go get a look at the Picinich v UPS case in NY. Another one that cost them hundreds of thousands of dollars. Go take a look at the Class Suity filed in PA. Another one that may cost them in the high seven figuere range. The company is running people through the ADA process and denying every damm one they run through. Unless injured employees exercise their rights under the ADA, namely contacting the EEOC, they will get nothing in the way of what they deserve. They instead get tossed into their state workers comp system, which only benefits the company, in helping them get rid of the injured employee, instead of moving them to another job that they colud do with their disibility.:sad:
  18. Load Stand

    Load Stand Guest

    HappyBob, I am not familiar with those cases but will look into them...here is one case that supports my understanding of the issue...I think I can find more and will post them in the next messages:

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    MURPHY V. UNITED PARCEL SERVICE, INC. (97-1992) 527 U.S. 516 (1999)
    141 F.3d 1185, affirmed.
    OConnor, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Rehnquist, C. J., and Scalia, Kennedy, Souter, Thomas, and Ginsburg, JJ., joined. Stevens, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which Breyer, J., joined.
    [ OConnor ] Dissent
    [ Stevens ]
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    NOTE: Where it is feasible, a syllabus (headnote) will be released, as is being done in connection with this case, at the time the opinion is issued.
    The syllabus constitutes no part of the opinion of the Court but has been prepared by the Reporter of Decisions for the convenience of the reader.
    See United States v. Detroit Timber & Lumber Co., 200 U.S. 321, 337.




    No. 971992. Argued April 27, 1999Decided June 22, 1999


    Respondent United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS), hired petitioner as a mechanic, a position that required him to drive commercial vehicles. To drive, he had to satisfy certain Department of Transportation (DOT) health certification requirements, including having no current clinical diagnosis of high blood pressure likely to interfere with his/her ability to operate a commercial vehicle safely. 49 CFR 391.41(b)(6). Despite petitioners high blood pressure, he was erroneously granted certification and commenced work. After the error was discovered, respondent fired him on the belief that his blood pressure exceeded the DOTs requirements. Petitioner brought suit under Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), the District Court granted respondent summary judgment, and the Tenth Circuit affirmed. Citing its decision in Sutton v. United Air Lines, Inc., 130 F.3d 893, 902, affd, ante, p. ___, that an individual claiming a disability under the ADA should be assessed with regard to any mitigating or corrective measures employed, the Court of Appeals held that petitioners hypertension is not a disability because his doctor testified that when medicated, petitioner functions normally in everyday activities. The court also affirmed the District Courts determi-nation that petitioner is not regarded as disabled under the ADA,
    explaining that respondent did not terminate him on an unsubstantiated fear that he would suffer a heart attack or stroke, but because his blood pressure exceeded the DOTs requirements for commercial vehicle drivers.


    1. Under the ADA, the determination whether petitioners impairment substantially limits one or more major life activities is made with reference to the mitigating measures he employs. Sutton, ante, p. ___. The Tenth Circuit concluded that, when medicated, petitioners high blood pressure does not substantially limit him in any major life activity. Because the question whether petitioner is disabled when taking medication is not before this Court, there is no occasion here to consider whether he is disabled due to limitations that persist despite his medication or the negative side effects of his medication. P. 4.

    2. Petitioner is not regarded as disabled because of his high blood pressure. Under Sutton, ante, at ___, a person is regarded as disabled within the ADAs meaning if, among other things, a covered entity mistakenly believes that the persons actual, nonlimiting impairment substantially limits one or more major life activities. Here, respondent argues that it does not regard petitioner as substantially limited in the major life activity of working, but, rather, regards him as unqualified to work as a UPS mechanic because he is unable to obtain DOT health certification. When referring to the major life activity of working, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) defines substantially limits as significantly restricted in the ability to perform either a class of jobs or a broad range of jobs in various classes as compared to the average person having comparable training, skills and abilities. 29 CFR 1630(j)(3)(i). Thus, one must be regarded as precluded from more than a particular job. Assuming without deciding that the EEOC regulations are valid, the Court concludes that the evidence that petitioner is regarded as unable to meet the DOT regulations is not sufficient to create a genuine issue of material fact as to whether he is regarded as unable to perform a class of jobs utilizing his skills. At most, petitioner has shown that he is regarded as unable to perform the job of mechanic only when that job requires driving a commercial motor vehiclea specific type of vehicle used on a highway in interstate commerce. He has put forward no evidence that he is regarded as unable to perform any mechanic job that does not call for driving a commercial motor vehicle and thus does not require DOT certification. Indeed, it is undisputed that he is generally employable as a mechanic, and there is uncontroverted evidence that he could perform a number of mechanic jobs. Consequently, petitioner has failed to show that he is regarded as unable to perform a class of jobs. Rather, the undisputed record evidence demonstrates that petitioner is, at most, regarded as unable to perform only a particular job. This is insufficient, as a matter of law, to prove that petitioner is regarded as substantially limited in the major life activity of working. Pp. 48.

    141 F.3d 1185, affirmed.
    OConnor, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Rehnquist, C. J., and Scalia, Kennedy, Souter, Thomas, and Ginsburg, JJ., joined. Stevens, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which Breyer, J., joined.

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  19. Hangingon

    Hangingon New Member

    Your response to how you think UPS complies with ADA is a termination that the courts backed?
  20. trickpony1

    trickpony1 Well-Known Member

    Wanna bet that managers like "Load Stand" are taken care of in their time of need?