Assimilating back to civilian life after serving our country is not always easy. Some doctors recommend that veterans suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can benefit from having a service animal with them at work. These animals could be considered a reasonable accommodation if they do not impose a hardship on the business. Workers in Florida who feel that they are being denied assistance because of their disability may believe that they are the victims of discrimination.
A veteran who worked at the Ford Transmission Plant claims the company denied his request for a reasonable accommodation. After serving in the Gulf Wars and Iraq, the man got a job with the company as he struggled to return to a regular life after being diagnosed with PTSD and suffering from a brain injury. The plaintiff's job only made his condition worse, and it necessitated him to take a leave to be treated.
The plaintiff's doctor recommended that he obtain a service animal to help him at work with his PTSD. He talked with human resources for several months but was never permitted to bring the dog to work. The reason behind the denial was never disclosed. Additionally, he was not given the opportunity to try taking the dog to work to see if the arrangement was agreeable.
The man resigned from his position, moved and is currently unemployed. Ford stated that the company is proud of its veterans and that it makes reasonable accommodations when possible. The plaintiff alleges that he should have been protected under anti-discrimination laws and filed a claim against the company and is mostly seeking to be returned to work, as well as to be awarded lost income and other monetary damages. Employees in Florida who feel they have suffered from discrimination at work based upon a legally protected status have the right to pursue recourse through the civil court system.
Source: wxyz.com, "Army veteran sues Ford for not allowing service dog to accompany him to work", Jane Park, March 27, 2015