We’ve head this story a dozen times over.
A military veteran walks into a bar/airline/office with his or her service animal. The business owner/employee/boss who doesn’t understand federal law refuses to allow the veteran and their service animal inside, even though it is illegal to do so. The story gets out, the public uproars, and justice is inevitably served.
With any luck, this formula will hold true for former Comcast employee and Army veteran Army veteran Blake Inman, who is suing Internet provider because it fired him over his service dog, Freedom.
Inman was diagnosed with a non-combat related panic disorder before he began to work at Comcast as a sales representative in 2011. At first, the company was flexible in granting him medical leave. In March 2014, Inman submitted the paperwork that would allow him to bring Freedom to the office. The dog’s main role is to sense imminent panic attacks and warn Inman in time so that he might take his medication, thus preventing him from taking more medical leave.
Things were going well until Inman was rewarded a vacation retreat for being a top salesman at the company. Along with a few other employees, Inman and Freedom headed to California to enjoy their well-earned vacation.
Instead, Inman was locked in a hotel conference room by his boss and colleagues and “aggressively interrogated him about why he brought Freedom on the award vacation.”
After the vacation, Inman was quickly shuffled out of his job, first through paid administrative leave, then through abrupt job termination. The Army veteran was unemployed by June, a mere three months after he started bringing Freedom to work.
Inman is now suing the company for disability discrimination.