CRST says trainee didn’t provide prescription stating he required a service dog

January 17, 2018

Mark Schremmer

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With the case now moved to Iowa, CRST International continues to dispute the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s claims that the trucking company violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by rescinding a job offer to a military veteran.

The EEOC originally filed the complaint with a Florida federal court in March 2017, alleging that the Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based trucking company decided not to hire Leon Laferriere as a truck driver in June 2015 after he made several requests for the company to allow him to use a service dog as an accommodation for his post-traumatic stress disorder and mood disorder.

In November 2017, a Florida federal judge approved CRST’s request to move the case from Florida to Iowa because “the alleged unlawful employment practice occurred in the Northern District of Iowa, where all the decisions relating to Mr. Laferriere’s employment application were made.”

After the case moved to Iowa, CRST responded to the EEOC’s amended complaint.

“Defendants further state that Mr. Laferriere did not inform CRST Expedited until late in the process of CRST’s efforts to arrange a trainee driving position for him (which included paying for his driving school) that he needed his dog in the truck with him for emotional support. To the contrary, Mr. Laferriere told CRST Expedited that his concern was what he would do with his dog while he was driving.

“Mr. Laferriere did not provide CRST Expedited with a letter from his doctor prescribing that Mr. Laferriere have his dog in the truck for emotional support. Mr. Laferriere did not provide CRST Expedited with certification that his dog was suitably trained as an emotional support dog.”

The EEOC alleged that CRST unlawfully retaliated against Laferriere after he requested the service dog accommodation in June 2015. After repeated attempts to receive the accommodation, the EEOC said, CRST rescinded its job offer to Laferriere on June 15, 2015.

“Mr. Laferriere provided no medical prescription for an emotional support dog or a doctor’s assessment that Mr. Laferriere should have an emotional support dog with him while he worked as a long-distance truck driver and as a member of a two-driver team that would be on the road for weeks at a time,” CRST wrote.

The trial date has been set for Nov. 5 at the U.S. Courthouse in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

WWWilliams

Mark Schremmer, senior editor, joined Land Line in 2015. An award-winning journalist and former assistant news editor at The Topeka Capital-Journal, he brings fresh ideas, solid reporting skills, and more than two decades of journalism experience to our staff.