Trucking company agrees to pay $22,500 to settle truck driver’s lawsuit over service dog
Story by: Clarissa Hawes @ FreightWaves
A Minnesota-based trucking company has agreed to pay $22,500 to settle a federal lawsuit stemming from allegations it required a truck driver to pay fees to have his certified service dog ride in the truck with him.
As part of the settlement, Transport America of Eagan, Minnesota, has also agreed to revise its policies to allow drivers with disabilities to have a service animal ride along without being charged.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed suit against Transport America on behalf of truck driver Matthew Ellison, 30, on August 20, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota. The EEOC alleged in the suit that the carrier did not make reasonable accommodations for Ellison and violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
In court documents, the EEOC stated that Ellison, who suffers from social anxiety disorder and depression, notified the carrier of his need for his service animal to accompany him at all times.
In its complaint, the EEOC claimed that Ellison’s service dog detects and warns Ellison about impending panic attacks, “allowing him to move to a safe place and practice other therapeutic techniques to alleviate the attacks.”
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Source and credits: freightwaves.com / Clarissa Hawes / iTrucker / Mario Pawlowski