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TSA faces litigation for discrimination against a one-handed man

The federal mandates pertaining to people with disabilities affect citizens all across the United States, including Colorado. The Americans with Disabilities Act is designed to protect individuals who have certain physical or mental disabilities from being discriminated against.

Recently, a New York man accused the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) of violating his rights by disqualifying him for a position as a screener at LaGuardia Airport, simply because he only has one hand.

According to a report, the man applied for a job as a screener with the TSA at LaGuardia a year and a half ago. He passed all of the initial tests, and cleared the background check. The man moved on to the final stage of the application process, which is a medical exam.

After completing the exam in January, the man received a letter disqualifying him because of his disability. He went on to state that the medical examiner did not test him to determine whether or not he would be able to perform physical tasks required as part of the job. He maintains that he would have little to no difficulty unzipping and zipping luggage and patting down travelers as needed.

The man's legal counsel told reporters that an assumption as to the man's capability to perform job duties cannot be made based on his disability. It was also confirmed that the man filed a complaint with the TSA in February and filed a formal claim with the TSA Equal Employment Opportunity office. Now, a hearing is pending.

The TSA told reporters that the organization did not act outside the realm of authorization when it came to the man's disqualification. It went on to say that physical coordination and motor skills are part of the job requirements set forth in the rules for applicants. Reporters received no comment when inquiring about the pending litigation.

It was safe to say that the Americans with Disabilities Act will play a major role in any litigation between the man and TSA. Discrimination is a serious matter in the United States and individuals, who feel they've been discriminated against because of a disability, could be entitled to reparation. Legal counsel knowledgeable in the law as it pertains to Americans with disabilities may be of benefit when seeking justice.

Source: The Gazette, "One-handed man says TSA discriminated against him," July 27, 2011

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