Army Vet Denied Accommodation and Suspended Due to His PTSD, Federal Agency Charges
LAS VEGAS - Wynn Las Vegas, LLC violated federal law when it discriminated against a disabled employee, a U.S. Army veteran who was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today. Wynn owns and operates an integrated luxury resort, which includes casinos, hotels, entertainment venues, along with restaurants and shops on the Las Vegas strip.
According to EEOC's lawsuit, in 2010 Wynn began requiring its security guards to work mandatory overtime. One of the unarmed security bike officers requested an accommodation for his disability, and Wynn not only refused, but required the employee to submit burdensome doctor's notes. This denial exacerbated the employee's PTSD, and when the employee filed a complaint with EEOC, Wynn retaliated against him by suspending him pending an investigation, EEOC said.
Such alleged conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). EEOC filed suit in the U.S. District Court of Nevada (EEOC v. Wynn Las Vegas, Case No. 2:16-cv-02187) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The agency seeks back pay and compensatory and punitive damages, along with injunctive relief to prevent and address any future disability discrimination.
"In recent years we have seen an increase in disability cases and employers failing to properly engage in the interactive process to look for an accommodation, as they are legally required to do," said Anna Park, regional attorney for EEOC's Los Angeles District. "This case is especially distressing since an Army veteran who sacrificed his health by serving his country then suffered further from his employer's intransigence."
Richard Burgamy, director of EEOC's Las Vegas Office, added, "Employers should review their policies and practices to ensure that people are properly trained on disability discrimination law. The process of asking for an accommodation should not be so burdensome that it stops people from exercising their rights."
EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about EEOC is available on its website at www.eeoc.gov.