The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed the lawsuit on March 2, alleging disability discrimination by the trucking company.
CRST did not respond to CCJ inquiries about the lawsuit.
According to the lawsuit, Leon Laferriere applied for a truck driver position with the company and signed up for a driver certification course with CRST’s training company. He was admitted into the training program, EEOC says, and before it began, he disclosed his disabilities and use of a service dog to the company. EEOC adds Laferriere completed the training program but was denied advancement to orientation and over-the-road training based on the company’s “no pet” policy, the Commission alleges.
Laferriere is a military veteran who uses a service dog to help control anxiety and wake him from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)-induced nightmares, EEOC adds. The lawsuit also alleges CRST developed a new “Service Dog Process” to address requests for the use of service dogs, but Laferriere was allegedly denied the opportunity to qualify for the new policy.
“Laferriere did the right thing by disclosing that he used a service dog due to disabilities to the CRST recruiter before leaving for the driver’s certification course,” said Julianne Bowman, district director for the EEOC’s Chicago District office, which investigated the charge of discrimination.
The lawsuit asks CRST to hire Laferriere and pay him back pay and front pay, along with compensatory and punitive damages.