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Jury awards veteran $75,000 for disability discrimination case

If you’re like most of our readers, you may have noticed society’s shift towards improving the protection of people’s civil rights in the workplace. This is especially true for people with disabilities, who often demonstrate that they are just as capable of doing a job as a nondisabled person. Unfortunately, some employers are still found guilty of disability discrimination, which the nation saw play out recently in a court room this month.

For those of our Indiana readers who may not have heard about the story in the news, the disability discrimination case involved a 30-year-old army veteran who had lost his left hand when a defective stun grenade detonated while he was holding it. Despite the amputation, the 30-year-old veteran returned to school to pursue his dream of becoming an FBI agent.

Though he was accepted to the training academy at Quantico, the man says in his complaint that the instructor treated him like an outsider and often made him perform tasks that were not required of the other recruits. Eventually, he was discharged because instructors said that his prosthetic interfered with his ability to fire with his non-dominant hand.

But recently a federal jury ruled in favor of the 30-year-old veteran in his disability discrimination case, finding that the FBI wrongfully discharged him. He was awarded $75,000 in damages and could be reinstated pending the decision from a federal judge.

As we stated above and have said in posts before, people with disabilities are just as capable as doing a job as a nondisabled person. But when employers refuse to give them the reasonable accommodation they need to do their job effectively, employees with disabilities can find themselves fighting to protect their civil rights in the court room, just like the man above had to do. The hope is always that cases like this will have just as happy of an outcome in the end.

Source: Courthouse News, "Amputee Veteran Nails FBI on Discrimination," Jack Bouboushian, Aug. 12, 2013

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