Fla. (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
announced a lawsuit March 3 against CRST Expedited Inc., a national trucking
company, for allegations of failing to accommodate a job candidate who used a
alleges that Leon Laferriere applied to be a truck driver with CRST in Fort
Myers, Florida, and signed up for a divers’ certification course. After being admitted
but before beginning the program, Laferriere allegedly disclosed disabilities
and use of a service dog. Laferriere, a veteran, struggles with post-traumatic
stress disorder (PTSD) and uses the service dog to help him cope with anxiety
and deal with nightmares.
did the right thing by disclosing that he used a service dog due to
disabilities to the CRST recruiter before leaving for the driver's
certification course," said Julianne Bowman, district director for the
EEOC's Chicago District office, which investigated the charge of
to the EEOC, the company denied Laferriere advancement to orientation because of
its “no pet policy.” Alleged conduct of this nature violates the Americans with
refusal to accommodate Mr. Laferriere is an example of the hardships that
returning veterans with disabilities can face as they seek to reintegrate into
civilian life,” said Jean Kamp, associate regional attorney for the Chicago
District. “Those challenges are hard enough without an employer denying someone
a job simply because he needs a service dog, as so many do."
The EEOC seeks
back pay and front pay, and punitive and compensatory damages, for Laferriere. It
also seeks a permanent injunction to bar future discrimination by CRST.