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Jury Finds for Veteran in Service Dog Suit

Like many veterans, former Marine Juan Alonzo-Miranda suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He served three tours of duty in Iraq, and now he relies on his trained service dog, Goldie, to help him cope with anxiety and panic attacks. In March 2015, a federal jury awarded Alonzo-Miranda over $28,000 in a lawsuit against Schlumberger Technology Corp., his former employer, for failure to accommodate his disability.

Alonzo-Miranda worked at Schlumberger’s Von Ormy, Texas facility as a mechanic. According to the lawsuit, he requested permission to bring his service dog to work with him after suffering a panic attack on the job in May 2012. The company initially denied his request, but eventually granted his request after six months.

Alonzo-Miranda says that once he was able to bring Goldie to work with him, he was treated like, “a second-class citizen.” He sued Schlumberger for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act, by failing to reasonably accommodate his disability. The jury agreed, awarding him $5,386.50 for lost overtime wages and $23,205 for pain and suffering.

Although the ADA does not specifically require employers to allow employees to bring service animals to work, it does require that employers provide reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities.

If you believe that you have been the victim of disability discrimination on the job, please call the New Jersey disability discrimination attorneys of Lenzo & Reis, LLC, at (973) 845-9922 or email us today for a free case evaluation.

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