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09/08/2011

Texas-based Scooter Store smites disabled manager who lost his mobility mojo, feds say

Couldn’t they have just given him a loaner?

The Scooter Store, the nation’s leading supplier of power wheelchairs, scooters, lifts, ramps and accessories fired a mobility manager because, yep, he has a disability, the federal government says in a Not the mobility manager lawsuit. 

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says the New Braunfels, Texas, company's files show the manager was qualified to perform his job despite a physical impairment, psoriatic arthritis.

To the facts, as the feds see them: In April 2009, the manager requested a temporary leave of absence as a “reasonable accommodation” for his disability when he injured his knee. Swiftly, as in within weeks or days, the Scooter Store, which was in New York, went and fired him “purportedly for job abandonment, although he had presented medical documentation,” the feds said.

“Granting a temporary leave of absence to this employee would have posed no undue hardship on this company and would have allowed the employee to recuperate and return to work,” said Adela Santos, trial attorney in the EEOC’s New York District Office.

Watchdog is betting giving the guy a Spitfire EX 1420 Travel Scooter Freedom Package (a $1,702 value now JUST $999!) would have been the equivalent of paying the corporate lawyer for his first four hours defending the case.

UPDATE:

Mark B. Leita, a company spokesman, said "The SCOOTER Store operates in full compliance with all State and Federal laws including those that protect the rights of the disabled.  However, the company will not comment further on this litigation."

-- Darren Barbee

 

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What A-Holes they are.

The same thing happened to me, except it was my back.
I was waiting for the hospital to schedule my physical therapy and my company fired me. I received my letter of termination the day after Christmas and I had worked for the company for 24 years and 7 months. When I tried to file for unemployment, my employer lied and said that I had abandoned my job and gave no information about when I might be able to return to work. When I contacted a lawyer, he told me that Texas is a "RIGHT-TO-WORK' state and that you can be dismissed from your job for NO REASON from your employer. I lost my car, my condo, and would be living under a bridge if my daughter hadn't taken me in. My credit is so bad now that I can't even rent an apartment or buy a car.
They basically ruined my life.

yeah right, comments are moderated. Thats why the first comment is a stupid a-hole comment. Moderate this you a-holes, stupid fat people dont need a scooter, they need a lap band

Guy Lombardo:

And you need a brain, among other things I can't mention here.

Guess I don't see why this is worth writing about.
Texas labor law includes the doctrine of "employment at will," which means the employer may terminate the employment relationship for any reason or no reason, and with no advance notice. In the same vein, the employee may quit or resign without giving notice and for any reason.

I hate them, my aunt called and tried to get a scooter and since she didn't have insurance they DENIED her the FREE scooter as ADVERTISED. She had BOTH her LEGS AMPUTATED. I have lost respect for the Scooter Store.

I'm so glad you are perfect, the process of all forms of arthritis, is you slowly lose your ability to exercise or even move. May you never have to undergo this degenerative illness, because someone may treat you with the same respect as your remark shows to others. Also this is a disease there is no cure and for some it destroys the ability to be productive and make a lively hood. But that's right you are Perfect

I forgot to mention I live in Texas and it is a right to hire/fire state. have someone tell you you're being fired because after 30 plus years as a professional that you don't have enough enthusiasm to work for them. It happened.Cjta RN

I've been a member of AARP for 14 years and I know that this so called SCOOTER Store runs their ads in the mags all the time. I'm going to contact the AARP president and also place a posting about the way this man was treated because hes disabled. I also hope that AARP members will cancel their memberships if the ads continue to run. Maybe its all about cash in the pocket??? Jay Stepp--Elmendorf,Texas

@ Guy - please keep in mind that not everyone that is using a scooter is in it simply because of obesity.

Sadly this is what happens in a "right to work" state, in which workers receive no protections from their employers.

People with disabilities are still people with personalities and attributes of the "normal" population. Sometimes disabled people can be the person who doesn't do what they are suppose to do or can be difficult to work with. It may have had more to do with him not following company guidelines.

Common to texas, Lost arm/hand use in 04 due to work comp surgery screw up. Ended up perminate loss security vault/ hartford went from fired xmas eve on operating table to denied coverage from hartford on return . So screw the sobs.

Handicapped individuals are not deserving of discrimination of any form. We all should respect them to whatever kind of work they are into. Not because they are physically challenged, they can no longer perform.

This equipment can help the disable person so that it is convenient for them to get outside. And most of all they can roaming around without the help of others.

The manager deserves some justice. The issue is a major concern to the entire community of handicapped individuals in Texas.

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