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War veteran wins disability discrimination suit against FBI

A veteran from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan faced discrimination by the FBI when he trained to become an agent. He won a suit against the agency, and his story can help those with similar claims.

Discriminating an employee due to a disability is not just illegal in the private sector, but in public positions like those offered by the government as well. This was recently highlighted when the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) faced a suit against an Iraqi and Afghanistan war veteran who was training to become an FBI agent.

A war veteran’s dream

The young veteran had lost his left hand in an accident involving a defective grenade while serving abroad. The injuries were so severe that his hand needed to be amputated and replaced with a prosthetic hand.

The war veteran returned home and began pursuing his dream – to become an FBI agent. According to a report by the Courthouse News Service, the young man was offered a position with the agency and reported to begin training at Quantico, VA. Upon his arrival, he claims that he was treated as an outsider and was required to complete a series of tests above and beyond the requirements of other trainees. Although his dominant right hand was uninjured, concerns were raised about his ability to fire a weapon with his prosthetic left hand. The FBI does not require trainees to shoot accurately with their non-dominate hand, but it does require that an agent be able to fire the weapon with their non-dominate hand in the event that their dominant hand is injured. The young veteran had developed a method to use his weapon with his prosthetic, but the FBI discharged him claiming that the prosthesis was unsafe.

Ultimately, a jury found the FBI’s basis for termination qualified as disability discrimination and awarded the young veteran $75,000 in damages.

Update on the war veteran

The war veteran continued to train to become an FBI agent after winning his case. WTAQ, a local station from the Army Ranger’s hometown, reported that the veteran will graduate from the FBI’s training academy in October of 2014.

Disability discrimination not uncommon, legal counsel can help

Unfortunately, the young veteran’s story of hardship due to discriminatory practices is not unheard of. Employees in both the private and public sectors have faced similar treatment. Like the veteran, remedies are available for victims of disability discrimination.

If you believe that you have a disability discrimination claim, it is wise to seek the counsel of an experienced disability discrimination lawyer. This legal professional will work to help better ensure your legal rights and any potential for remedies are protected.

Keywords: discrimination