Sunday, December 17, 2017

Former employee sues Tri-State Airport (KHTS) for disabilities act violation

A former Tri-State Airport Authority employee said his former bosses reneged on their efforts to accommodate his learning disability, preventing him from doing his job and ultimately leading them to terminate his employment.

James Cremeans said his supervisors at Huntington Tri-State Airport initially provided support to him, but they later failed to give him the minimum accommodations he needed to complete his job, according to a lawsuit filed in the Southern District of West Virginia in United States District Court last week.

Cremeans said his supervisors violated the Americans with Disabilities Act and the West Virginia Human Rights Act causing him emotional distress when they failed to accommodate him, then accused him of lying about his disability.

The Tri-State Airport Authority operates Huntington Tri-State Airport. The authority is named as a defendant along with Brett McCoy and Gail White, who were supervisors at the airport while Cremeans was employed there between April and August.

Cremeans was “severely learning disabled throughout school,” due to a birth defect in his brain, according to the complaint. As a result of the defect, Cremeans is illiterate, according to the complaint.

During the interview process for a cleaning job at the airport, Cremeans said an airport employee helped him by reading aloud questions on the airport’s written employment test. In April, he was hired to clean the airport during a night shift, for which he was paid $9 an hour, according to the complaint.

A few weeks after he started his job, Cremeans said White instituted a checklist process for all cleaning duties. When he informed her he couldn’t read, White told Cremeans at least five times she would review the form with him so he could check off the tasks he completed, but she never reviewed the form with him.

Initially another night-shift employee helped Cremeans fill out the form, but that employee was transferred to day shift in May and wasn’t replaced, Cremeans said.

Cremeans said he talked to McCoy, who was White’s supervisor. McCoy likewise said he would help Cremeans but never did, according to the complaint.

Cremeans was not disciplined as an employee at the airport during his employment there, according to the complaint.

In August, McCoy called Cremeans into his office and confronted him about his paperwork, according to the complaint.

Cremeans told McCoy he was illiterate and was completing his cleaning duties, but he wasn’t able to complete the corresponding checklist, according to the complaint.

McCoy called Cremeans a liar on both counts and he “fired him on the spot,” according to the complaint.

Cremeans is represented by Timothy Rosinsky of Rosinsky Law Office in Huntington.

Cremeans seeks punitive and compensatory damages as well as lost wages and attorney's fees and court costs.

Original article can be found here ➤ https://www.wvgazettemail.com

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I've no doubt some less-than-necessary 'use' of the ADA occurs, but - as written - this appears to be an egregious example of willfully ignoring the Act, also apparently lying along the way, by an illiterate man's management chain. Shame on them! In my Ideal World, the harmed illiterate individual would be reinstated, and the two lying/lazy managers involved in his firing not only canned themselves, but assessed all legal costs in addition to reimbursing the harmed individual for any lost wages. (This is America...I can dream!)