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Trucker prevails in disability discrimination, retaliation suit

You can spot CRST’s tan and white tractor-trailers rolling across Wisconsin’s interstate highways and Milwaukee streets. The Iowa-based company is one of the nation’s largest trucking companies, with more than $1.5 billion in annual revenues.

The company recently agreed to settle a disability discrimination and retaliation lawsuit filed by a truck driver applicant it refused to hire because he uses a service dog to help him with his disabilities.

In the suit, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and applicant accused the company of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as amended by the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act. CRST did not hire the Navy veteran who uses a service dog to help him with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), though he successfully completed the commercial drivers' licensing course with CRST’s training partner. He was denied employment because of CRST’s no-pets policy for drivers.

The settlement requires CRST to provide the driver with back pay and compensatory damages of $47,500. In addition, the company is enjoined from refusing to hire or refusing to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified job applicants and employees with disabilities. It also cannot retaliate against any applicant or employee who requests a reasonable accommodation for their disability.

In addition, the company agreed to provide anti-discrimination training to its employees.

The director of the EEOC’s Milwaukee office said that when the applicant told the CRST recruiter that he uses a service dog, it “gave the employer clear notice that the applicant was invoking the rights and protections of the Americans with Disabilities Act. No magic words are required to trigger an employer's obligations under the ADA.”

You, too, can protect your rights and career with the help of an employment law attorney devoted to workplace justice.

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