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Employment law case stems from alleged disability discrimination

Having a disability, whether temporary or permanent, can make certain areas of life more difficult than for those who are able-bodied. However, having a disability does not mean that a person cannot carry out his or her necessary work duties and have a fulfilling career. In some cases, certain accommodations may be needed in order to have that success, and most employers have a legal obligation to provide reasonable accommodations. If that does not happen, employment law issues could result.

Oregon readers may be interested in a legal issue that is currently being addressed in another state. Reports indicated that a flight attendant for Delta Air Lines has filed a disability discrimination lawsuit against the company due to past issues relating to needed accommodations. The man reportedly suffered a foot injury while on the job after a "botched" landing in 2016. He had to take medical leave from work, and due to continuing issues resulting from the injury, he needed medical footwear that differed from the Delta-approved dress code. The situation resulted in his missing a year of work, and he hopes that a lawsuit will allow him to obtain compensation for that time.

In 2017, the man requested that Delta accommodate him by allowing him to wear the needed shoes, but the company denied his request, which resulted in the man not being able to return to work. Later, the airline company requested more information about the accommodation, which the man provided along with a shoe proposal. The company again rejected his request because the shoe was not aesthetically pleasing. A second shoe recommendation was made by the employee and was also rejected for aesthetic reasons. In 2018, the company accepted the shoe proposal that the man had originally made a year earlier, and he was finally able to return to work.

Facing resistance from an employer regarding a needed accommodation for a disability goes beyond simply being frustrating. As this case shows, it can constitute discriminatory actions and result in worker suffering. If Oregon residents have had to contend with such mistreatment, they may want to consult with knowledgeable employment law attorneys about their options.

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