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Veteran fired from gym over disability, lawsuit claims

A former Marine has filed a wrongful termination suit against the gym he claims fired him because he is a disabled veteran. The man has produced documentation showing that a manager at the facility terminated his employment because of his disability. The man experiences vision problems associated with his service and says the disability discrimination was sparked by his visit to a VA doctor in July.

Although some disabilities can make it difficult to work specific positions, most ailments can be accommodated in the modern workplace. Employers are in fact required to make concessions to hire qualified disabled workers. When employers in San Diego and throughout the U.S. fail to abide by the laws requiring these accommodations, they can be sued for damages by disabled employees or job applicants.

The veteran had worked at the gym for almost two years when his supervisor called him into the office after a routine vision appointment. Records indicate that the man had offered to work nights and weekends to make up for the vision screenings, which are critical to his health. Still, this new manager refused to extend such opportunities, instead opting to release the man from employment.

Attorneys for the veteran say that the case is a textbook situation of disability discrimination, which is prohibited by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Legal experts speculate that because the violation was so egregious, it is likely that staff members at the facility had not received proper training to avoid making these types of violations. In fact, a document related to the case lists “disabled veteran” as the reason for the man’s employment termination.

The manager at the gym is disputing the claims, saying that he fired the man because of customer complaints. However, the veteran’s former manager said that he was a “good employee.”

Source: AOL Jobs, “Former Marine Jonathan Brown Fired For Going To Doctor And Being A ‘Disabled Veteran,’ Suit Claims,” David Schepp, Oct. 25, 2012


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