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(Source: Associated Press, October 2, 2023)

The federal government has joined more than a dozen former workers in suing Union Pacific over the way it used a vision test to disqualify workers the railroad believed were color blind. The lawsuit focuses on a vision test that UP developed called the “light cannon” test, which involves asking workers to identify the color of a light on a device placed a quarter of a mile away from the test taker. The EEOC said in its lawsuit that the test doesn’t replicate real world conditions or show whether workers can accurately identify railroad signals. Some of the workers who sued had failed UP’s “light cannon” test but passed another vision test that has the approval of the Federal Railroad Administration. The lawsuit announced Monday by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of 21 former workers is the first the government filed in what could eventually be hundreds — if not thousands — of lawsuits over the way UP disqualified people with a variety of health issues. These cases were once going to be part of a class-action lawsuit that the railroad estimated might include as many as 7,700 people who had to undergo what is called a “fitness-for-duty” review between 2014 and 2018.

Full story: Associated Press