A former customer service employee for Bank of America is suing the bank, claiming he was discriminated against due to his disability. His right hand, arm and leg were injured in a car accident, and when he pressed for additional and reasonable accommodations he was told it "wouldn't be fair to people with two hands."
The man was fired for returning after one or two minutes late from his lunch break, his tardiness caused by the slowness of his walk due to his limp. He had worked for the Merrill Lynch when it was acquired by Bank of America -- offering three years in total to the companies. The lawsuit claims that Bank of America's conduct was "unacceptable" and that the violations of the law require accountability on the part of his supervisors and managers. The Americans with Disabilities Act is meant to provide for "reasonable accommodations," and requires that there be no retaliation for requests for such accommodation.
The man's disabilities had not been a problem while working under Merrill Lynch, who provided a left-handed keyboard and additional time between customer service calls in order to type out the information. Bank of America allegedly refused him the necessary extra time to compensate for his disability.
The wrongful termination aspect of this case is complicated by the other issues of discrimination within this man's workplace. Fortunately, he has not hesitated to come forward and file a lawsuit, bringing attention to his situation, which no doubt other American employees face. Reasonable accommodation through the Americans with Disabilities Act ought to be a serious concern for all workers, who should seek equality with their fellow employees.
A qualified attorney who specializes in cases like this one can be an excellent resource for people who feel that they may have been discriminated against in the workplace and are unsure where to turn or what their rights may be.
Source: ABC News, "Disabled Employee Says Bank of America Fired Him for Slow Typing and Walking," Susanna Kim, Sept. 19, 2012