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UPS Driver Sues For Disability Discrimination Based On PTSD

Sergio Cervantes, a former UPS delivery driver, witnessed the execution of a gang member while completing his delivery route. He stopped, got out of his van and held the dying man in his arms, doing what seemed like the right thing, but making himself a gang target at the same time. Several gang members asked Cervantes' coworkers about him - his name, the route he drives - essentially looking for information on where he could be found.

Cervantes was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after witnessing the gang shooting. He reported to work with a restriction from his doctor disallowing him from driving a route within a 50 mile radius of the scene of the execution. When UPS either failed to accommodate or refused his request for a reasonable accommodation of a new route, Cervantes took disability leave.

Cervantes again returned to work, this time with a new restriction from his doctor - that he not drive the same route he had when he witnessed the shooting. UPS assigned Cervantes to a new route, but one that was very close to the old one and worsened his PTSD symptoms.

Again Cervantes requested a new route, but UPS would not accommodate him and he again took disability leave. When he returned from disability leave this time, UPS did not respond to his request for a disability accommodation. He left the company and was out of work for several months. When he did find a new job, his pay was substantially lower than what he had been making as a delivery driver for UPS.

In response to UPS's failure to accommodate his need for a new route because of the PTSD he suffered from an on-the-job incident, he is now suing for disability discrimination, constructive discharge and retaliation in San Diego Superior Court.

Source: Courthouse News Service, "Grisly Employment Complaint Against UPS," Matt Reynolds, June 7, 2012

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