Employer Sued For Allegedly Failing To Hire Veteran Who Uses A Service Dog Featured

  17 March 2017

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has sued CRST Expedited Inc., a national trucking company, alleging that the company violated federal law when it failed to accommodate, refused to hire and retaliated against a job candidate because he used a service dog.

According to the EEOC's lawsuit, Leon Laferriere applied for a truck driver position with CRST in Fort Myers and signed up for the drivers' certification course with CRST's partner training company. After being admitted to the truck driver training program, but prior to leaving to begin it, Laferriere disclosed his disabilities and use of a trained service dog. Laferriere is a veteran who uses a trained service dog to help control anxiety and to wake him from nightmares caused by post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Laferriere successfully completed the training program, but was denied advancement to orientation and additional on-the-road training. CRST told Laferriere that he could not advance to the on-the-road program, which requires overnights away from home, due to CRST's "no pet" policy. Laferriere was subsequently denied hire. The EEOC also alleges that around the same time that CRST denied Laferriere's request for accom­modation, CRST developed a new "Service Dog Process" to address accommodation requests seeking the use of a service dog. But CRST denied Laferriere the opportunity to qualify for accommodation under the new policy. Disability discrimination violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as amended by the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA). The EEOC filed its lawsuit (EEOC v. CRST International Inc./CRST Expedited Inc., 3:2017cv00241 ) in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. Read more here.

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