A proposed class action lawsuit filed by the President of Teamsters Local 2727 representing United Parcel Service (UPS) airline maintenance mechanics accuses the package delivery company of creating a risk-filled work environment by failing to comply with basic health standards during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Initially filed in Kentucky state court in February, 2020, the suit was removed to federal court in March 2021. Branstetter, Stranch & Jennings (BS&J) attorneys David O’Brien Suetholz and Peter Jannace are representing Teamsters President Tim Boyle, who filed the class action on behalf of active members of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Local 2727.
The lawsuit, Tim Boyle v. United Parcel Service Co. (case number 3:21-cv-00135), claims that, despite the union’s persistent appeals to United Parcel Service Co. (Air) safety officials concerning “serious, chronic sanitary conditions” at the Louisville Gateway facility, the company did nothing to address these issues. The suit alleges that UPS’ Louisville facilities failed to initiate health guidance issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the state of Kentucky, including protocols for air carriers and flight crew members.
As a result, President Boyle on behalf of his members is “forced to seek court intervention” and “injunctive relief herein to prevent the potential loss of life or serious injury of its members — and indeed, the public at large — because of the company’s intentional disregard for their well-being,” according to the suit.
“UPS has displayed utter disdain for the safety of its employees by failing to keep its Louisville, Kentucky facilities safe and sanitary,” Suetholz said. “The situation there does not reflect the general workplace best practices that have become standard during the pandemic. The company’s claims that it has implemented enhanced cleaning protocols is far from the reality that exists at these facilities. Unsanitary conditions abound, which have been evidenced by multiple complaints filed by the union, and these conditions pose a risk for UPS workers and the community at large.”
The lawsuit seeks a permanent injunction for UPS to establish a cleaning schedule and guidance in line with the union’s wishes. It also seeks a court order for UPS to provide and/or post confirmation that:
- Facilities and restrooms are being maintained in accordance with a cleaning schedule;
- A satisfactory deep-cleaning protocol is being established for employees who test positive for COVID-19; and
- Teamsters of the location at which employees have tested positive for COVID-19 are immediately being notified.
“This complaint was properly filed in state court, and while it has been removed to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky, we are confident it will be remanded back to state court after we brief the matter,” Suetholz said. “We look forward to pursuing this case to ensure that these essential workers are properly protected, along with the general public they serve.”