Law Offices of Louis Spitters
408-780-1920

EEOC claim over veteran's discrimination headed to court

In the past, those who served their country and returned with emotional distress from their experiences were often left to try and cope with their issues on their own. Now, there have been many improvements in how these veterans are assisted, which may include the use of therapy animals. There are many California employers who recognize the value of these animals and are making accommodations for workers who need them since not doing so could lead to an EEOC claim over possible discrimination.

Recently, a case involving the need for one of these animals has been scheduled for trial. According to the case, a veteran applied for a position as a long-distance truck driver. During the application process, which was begun in 2015, the veteran asked that accommodations be made for his emotional support dog. He alleges that he requires the animal for his post traumatic stress disorder as well as for support for a mood disorder. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission took up the case after the man reported that his offer for employment was rescinded after he pressed the issue of the animal's importance.

The company, Cedar Rapids Steel Transport, claims that the man never provided paperwork from a physician that supported the man's assertions that he needed the dog to accompany him on the road. Conversely, the man claims he was simply concerned with how his dog would be taken care of in his absence as he drove long trips for the company. The company did successfully petition to have the case moved from the origin of the complaint in Florida to a court in Iowa where it is headquartered.

The EEOC claim is based on assertions that the case violates the Americans with Disabilities Act. The trial has been scheduled for November. Anytime a California resident believes that he or she has been a victim of workplace discrimination, he or she is entitled to file a claim with the federal agency. In addition, he or she may also seek assistance from an employment law attorney in order to seek a satisfactory resolution. 

Source: landlinemag.com, "CRST says trainee didn't provide prescription stating that he required a service dog", Mark Schremmer, Jan. 17, 2018

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