A United States veteran suffering from PTSD was told he would be fired if he showed up to work with his service dog.
U.S. Marine Corps veteran Yauncey Long told Pete Hegseth of Fox News that he was turned away from his job for showing up with his service animal. He says his employer, Cincinnati Bell, told him he could not bring his service dog, C4, to work with him and that if he did, he would be fired.
Long said that he knew what they were telling him was illegal, so he kept doing what he was supposed to do by showing up and letting them know that he was “there and ready to work, but was sent home every day that week” because of the animal.
According to U.S. Department of Justice, service animals are defined in the American Disabilities Act as “dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities.” One of their duties is listed as “calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack.”
The veteran Marine said the dog is helping him cope with his severe PTSD symptoms, and that he was able to go to the grocery store on his own for the first time (since he was deployed) last week because of the dog. But he says despite his best efforts to plead his case, the telecom company for which he’s been employed for more than a year and a half refuses to acknowledge his need for the animal to accompany him to work.
Long said he’s filled out all the paperwork they required and even has correspondence from the company stating that they had the proper paperwork. However, when Fox News contacted Cincinnati Bell for a statement, the company replied, “Despite repeated efforts, we have yet to receive any information regarding the current status of Yauncey’s condition and its effect on his ability to perform his job. We have encouraged and continue to encourage Yauncey to report for work and perform his job duties, which entail on-site, residential telecommunications installation” (via BizPacReview).
Long continues to maintain that he has filed all the necessary paperwork, but that the company is “stonewalling” him and keeping him from doing his job as long as he brings his dog. He said the company has continued to say they have “unsatisfactory” approval from management.
Long said that if the company “had any more information, he would have loved to receive that in the last year.” He claims he even wrote a letter to the CEO of the company, explaining his predicament. He says it was “pretty revealing actually,” as he explained in detail why he needed the animal and the experiences he had in combat and his personal struggles since deployment. He says the response letter simply told him to report to the human resources department.
Hegseth signed off by saying that he would be inviting a representative of Cincinnati Bell onto the show to follow up with Long’s case. Until then, those of us in the company’s service area may want to consider alternative options.