A multi-tour Iraq war veteran has filed a lawsuit against a future employer, alleging that they violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by rescinding a job offer only after learning of his service-related disability. During his service, he suffered traumatic brain injuries and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder due to detonations from improvised explosive devices.
According to records, the company offered the potential job candidate a position as a Human Resources Strategic Business Partner with a salary of more than $170,000. After signing, he gave his current job a two-week notice and put his house up for sale. They offered him temporary housing and $24,000 of relocation expenses. However, after informing them of his disability and requesting accommodation of an office and apartment with stair-free access, the company stopped calling back.
Brown v. Los Angeles Unified School Dist., 2021 WL 631030 (Cal. Ct. App. 2021)
Laurie Brown, a teacher at Millikan Middle School, alleged she experienced chronic pain, which was allegedly caused by a new Wi-Fi system the school had installed. Brown’s medical provider diagnosed her with “electromagnetic hypersensitivity sensitivity” (EHS). Brown eventually quit, claiming she could not return to work “without being overcome with crippling pain.” Among other things, Brown alleged discrimination based upon a physical disability, failure to accommodate her disability, and retaliation.
How the pandemic is changing job futures for people with disabilities
As job markets continue to be hammered during the pandemic, the ongoing economic crisis is eroding three decades of employment gains for people with disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act, known as the ADA. That landmark legislation, which marked its 30th anniversary last year, made employment discrimination against people with disabilities illegal.
Workers with disabilities represent only 3% of the U.S. labor force. But in the initial, early spring months of the pandemic, over 1 million U.S. workers with disabilities, or one in five, lost their jobs compared with one in seven workers in the general population. These numbers overshadow decades of improvement since the passage of the ADA in 1990.