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Why Can’t a Veteran Who Served Nine Months in Afghanistan Tolerate Working in Texas?

Anthony Gazvoda, a brave and diligent veteran of the U.S. military, served in Afghanistan as a road clearance specialist. In that role, his job required him to go into enemy territory ahead of other troops, clear out improvised explosive devices (IEDs), and draw enemy fire.

While in Afghanistan, he was involved in numerous firefights, shot at hundreds of times, and even subjected to an IED attack. He also earned an Army Commendation Medal with Valor for rescuing another soldier from a bombed-out Humvee while under enemy fire.

Despite his valiant service, Gazvoda is now forced to fight a job assignment that subjects him to crippling mental health issues. After his discharge from the military, Gazvoda commenced training with the Department of Homeland Security for a job as a border patrol agent. At the conclusion of that training, he was assigned to a position in Laredo, Texas. Unfortunately for Gazvoda, however, he began to experience insomnia, anxiety, depression, and panic attacks shortly after his transfer there and, as a result, was forced to take leave. Eventually, Gazvoda was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and his treating physicians concluded that the similarities between Afghanistan and Laredo triggered Gazvoda’s symptoms. Declaring that all he wanted was “to be able to continue serving [his] country,” Gazvoda requested a change of work venue to Michigan. Homeland Security, however, repeatedly denied Gazvoda’s requests for a transfer and even threatened to declare him AWOL (absent without leave).

Finally, Gazvoda was forced to file suit to obtain the transfer that he had requested. Recently, a judge for the Eastern District of Michigan rejected the defense motion to dismiss the lawsuit at this stage after finding that Gazvoda presented enough medical evidence to proceed with his lawsuit.

If your employer is refusing to accommodate your disability or discriminating or retaliating against you for requesting accommodations or disability leave, be sure to contact an experienced employment attorney, like those at Lenzo & Reis. We will vigorously fight for your right to obtain the accommodations that you are entitled to as well as do battle against unlawful discrimination and retaliation in the workplace.

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