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Fired employee responds with federal discrimination claim

They fired him, so he fired back.

An ex-employee of the mass grocery retailer Kroger working at the company's Oregon headquarters stated that he would have been pleased to comply with his employer's request to avoid bicycling through the lobby of the corporate offices each day.

Unfortunately, though, he couldn't alter his customary practice, entering instead through a back door and carting his bike up a flight of stairs, nor could he walk his bike through the lobby, for one quite simple reason: he lacked the hands and arms required to do so.

The employee was a victim of radiation spewed out at the Chernobyl nuclear plant 30 years ago, being born shortly thereafter and having to have his arms amputated.

That didn't stop him from working as an adult, though. At Kroger, he worked with customers, with his audited work reportedly receiving exemplary ratings.

He also commuted between home and the workplace on a specially modified bike.

At some point, his method of approach and departure from the company lobby became a point of contention, with officials suggesting the aforementioned alternatives that he simply couldn't respond to.

For his failure to do so, he was terminated.

And wrongfully so, his recently filed federal lawsuit contends. It alleges that Kroger and the temp agency that placed him with the grocery chain violated the Americans With Disabilities Act by unlawfully discriminating and retaliating against him.

His legal counsel ardently concurs, stating that his sought accommodations were minor and not imposing any undue hardship on Kroger.

His attorney additionally voices his belief that, while larger national companies like Kroger often do have solid pro-employee policies in place to safeguard against discrimination, their standards and guidelines are sometimes not effectively acted upon owing to shortcomings in training programs.

That is undoubtedly true for many large companies in California and elsewhere, and points to the need for many corporations to work closely with proven employment law attorneys to ensure that they are in full compliance with relevant federal and state labor laws.

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