The National Multiple Sclerosis Society reports that approximately 400,000 people in Texas and across the United States have the disease. MS disrupts the way that information is processed between the human body and the brain, and it is often unpredictable. An out-of-state man alleges that he was denied the opportunity to become a police officer because he suffers from the disease. He claims that he is the victim of discrimination and that his rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act have been violated.
The 25-year-old plaintiff claims that his dream was always to become a cop. In 2013, the man was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, but he was still determined to become an officer. He trained hard and applied to join the cadet program. Joining this program would allow the plaintiff's dream to become a reality faster. Once he completed his training, he could take the examination to become a police officer.
The plaintiff was required to take a physical exam as part of his application into the cadet program, which he passed. While he was filling out the necessary forms, he apparently disclosed that he had MS and provided a letter from his physician that stated his disease would not prevent him from fulfilling his duties as a cadet. A month later, he claims he was rejected from the program because of his disease. The plaintiff asserts that the New York City Police Department did not have him take any other tests.
The city contends that, in the plaintiff's documentation, his MS was represented as relapsing-remitting. Reportedly, this indicates that the disease can become suddenly worse, followed by varying recovery periods in which the symptoms may be partially or completely improved. Additionally, the city asserts that the plaintiff would not be able to fully perform the essential functions of the job, even if he was given a reasonable accommodation in accordance with the ADA. The plaintiff has filed a $3 million disability discrimination lawsuit in a civil court against the city. Similarly situated Texas workers who believe that they have been denied a job opportunity based upon preconceived notions about their disease may consider contacting someone experienced in handling employment law claims in order to help them determine the best court of action.
Source: silive.com, "$3 million lawsuit: City discriminated cop candidate due to multiple sclerosis diagnosis", Frank Donnelly, Oct. 5, 2015