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A2007-01: Regarding Discriminatory Driver's License Requirements in Non-transportation Job Descriptions

Adopted in: 2007

Topics: Employment, Discrimination

WHEREAS, for generations blind employees have worked effectively in jobs that required travel, using mass transit, taxis, paid drivers, or a combination of these; and

WHEREAS, using these transportation modes makes it possible for blind employees to read, write, make telephone calls, and do other tasks that sighted employees, who must pay attention to their driving, cannot do; and

WHEREAS, this increased productivity can more than compensate for any increased transportation cost that may occur; and

WHEREAS, employers in the state are increasingly requiring a valid Class D Minnesota driver’s license as a condition of employment where the position is not a transportation job such as bus or truck driving; and

WHEREAS, this requirement discriminates against blind people as a class because blindness makes a person ineligible to receive a valid Minnesota driver's license; and

WHEREAS, this requirement also discriminates against blind people as a class by excluding them from jobs that they otherwise could perform using mass transit, taxis, or paid drivers; and

WHEREAS, requiring a drivers license for jobs in which driving is not an essential function is a violation of Minnesota statute 363A.08 (Subd. 2), the Minnesota  Human Rights Act; now therefore

BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota in convention assembled this fourth day of November 2007 in the city of Bloomington Minnesota that it is the position of this organization that requiring a valid Minnesota driver's license in non-transportation jobs constitutes illegal discrimination against blind people as a class; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this organization do everything in its power to insure that such discriminatory language is stricken from job descriptions and replaced by non-discriminatory language such as "must be able to travel", "must be able to provide transportation to residents", or "must possess a valid Minnesota ID"; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that in furtherance of this goal, this organization contact employers, employment agencies, the commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Employee Relations, the Attorney General of the State of Minnesota, the commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, counties, municipalities, other governmental and private bodies, and news organizations; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that if necessary, this organization engage in any legal action necessary to end this discriminatory job requirement in Minnesota.

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