We have recently seen a couple of cases of military veterans who were refused employment as truck drivers based upon a disability. A refusal to permit a reasonable accommodation for a disability violates the Americans With Disabilities Act (“ADA”).
A recently filed suit by the EEOC in Florida alleged that a trucking company refused to hire a military veteran who required the assistance of a trained service dog for his post-traumatic stress disorder (“PTSD”) – because it had a “no pet” policy.
An EEOC attorney commented that this “refusal to accommodate [him] is an example of the hardships that returning veterans with disabilities can face as they seek to reintegrate into civilian life. Those challenges are hard enough without an employer denying someone a job simply because he needs a service dog, as so many do.”
The EEOC sued in an earlier case claiming that it was “company policy” not to hire an Air Force vet suffering from bipolar disorder because he took medication to control his condition, even though he had medical reports showing that he could drive safely.
These were merely cases of failure to accommodate a vet with a disability.
Calling a vet with PTSD a “psycho” is a whole other thing, and the basis of a new EEOC suit.
The suit, filed in Wyoming, alleges that a military veteran who suffered from PTSD and was a welder was forced to quit because his “supervisor repeatedly referred to him as a ‘psycho’ and uttered similar epithets about him to his coworkers … The supervisor also referred to Thursday as ‘Psycho Thursday,’ because that was the day of the week that the employee attended therapy sessions at a Veterans Administration facility to treat his PTSD.”
The EEOC also claims that the “two principal owners were aware of the ongoing harassment but took no steps to put an end to the abuse.”
An EEOC attorney said that “The ADA protects our veterans who suffer from PTSD. No employer should ever allow harassment of our veterans who served this country simply because they are getting the care they need and deserve.”
Takeaway: What can be said about a boss – or anyone – who calls a military veteran suffering from PTSD a “psycho.” We are struck dumb.