A former Dickson County employee has filed a federal lawsuit which claims he was fired because of psychological disabilities which he acquired in the military.
The civil lawsuit, filed May 16, claims that Wayne Curtin began his work with the county’s highway department in 2008 as a truck driver. Curtin is treated for depression, anxiety and stress through the U.S. Veterans’ Affairs, according to the lawsuit. Those are considered a disability by the Americans with Disabilities Act.
In September 2016, Curtin notified his employers that he needed time off to adjust to his medications. The next month, he was fired because of “performance issues,” according to the lawsuit.
“Instead of engaging in the interactive process, (the defendants) terminated plaintiff (Curtin),” according to the lawsuit.
Curtin’s case was investigated by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and it found that there was “reasonable cause” to determine that the county “failed to engage in the interactive process and discharged Plaintiff (Curtin) for requesting time off for his disability,” according to the suit.
Curtin claims that he was discriminated against because of his disability and that this is a violation of the ADA. He requested back pay plus interest, the value of lost employment benefits, damages for emotional pain and payment of his attorney’s fees.
Both the Highway Department and Dickson County are named in the lawsuit. Dickson County’s administration did not wish to comment on the ongoing litigation, County Mayor Bob Rial said.
The initial case conference is set for July 15.