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Texas man sues Goodyear Tire for disability discrimination

An interesting disability discrimination lawsuit has been filed in the Eastern District of Texas, Beaumont Division. A man has sued Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. after the employer reportedly fired him for refusing to take a urine test under observation.

While asking an employee to take an observed urine test is not illegal in and of itself, this employee claims that he has shy bladder syndrome, a disability that makes it impossible for him to urinate in front of others.

The man asked the employer to make an accommodation by allowing him to take a blood test or provide a hair sample rather than a urine sample, but the employer refused.

The man was not allowed to return to work until he completed an observed urine test, and after he failed to do so the employer allegedly fired him, according to the lawsuit.

The former Goodyear technician is now accusing the company of discriminating against him, in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. He is also accusing the company of retaliating against him, a violation of the same federal employment law.

He has requested back pay and front pay, as well as damages for pain and suffering, among other things.

The merits of this lawsuit are not known at this point. The claims in the lawsuit, however, are an example of the reasonable accommodations requirement within the Americans with Disabilities Act. Under the reasonable accommodations provision, employers are required by law to provide reasonable accommodations to employees or job applicants with disabilities in order to facilitate employment, as long as the accommodations do not impose an undue hardship on the employer.

Source: The Southest Texas Record, "Technician files discrimination lawsuit over observed urine tests," Michelle Keahey, Oct. 30, 2013

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