By Abrolat Law, Special for USDR
Samuel Garcia, a decorated US Marine Corp. Sargent and father of four, has filed suit against Coaster Company of America for harassment and discrimination due to his veteran status. Garcia interviewed for a management position with Coaster Company’s Manager Alan Putis, who invited Garcia to a second interview with Human Resources Vice President, Matthew Chen. During that second interview, Chen interrogated Garcia about his service record and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, intentionally humiliating Garcia, the lawsuit filed by Abrolat Law pc alleges. After Garcia complained in writing about the harassment, Coaster Company refused to hire Garcia, the suit claims.
Garcia served the United States in two tours in Iraq between 2003 and 2007 and deployment to Afghanistan in 2009. While Garcia did not anticipate an easy transition back into civilian life, he remains shocked and deeply saddened by Chen’s harassment.
During the interview, Chen neglected to ask Garcia about his skills and qualifications for the job, the lawsuit alleges. Instead, Chen interrogated Garcia about whether he killed anyone during his service, how he felt about killing people, details of the violence Garcia encountered overseas, what Garcia thought about PTSD and whether he had it, Garcia reports.
Garcia described the interview: “What should have been a regular job interview turned into Chen harassing me based on my veteran status and his assumption that I have PTSD. Chen’s questions humiliated me. Making it all worse, Chen first summoned a young female employee into the interview who Chen said had a significant other in the Marines about to be deployed. Chen then interrogated me about the brutalities of war in front of her.” Garcia concluded: “I am proud of my commitment to the security of our country, and the personal hardships I have endured are a price I willingly pay for a safer world for my children in the United States.”
Discrimination is not an uncommon experience for veterans returning home from war. According to United States Veterans Affairs, about 11-20 out of every 100 Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom veterans have PTSD in a given year. According to American Psychological Association, there is a tremendous amount of stigma with PTSD among veterans. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that 20% of all veterans had service-connected disabilities in August of 2015, and their labor force participation rate was a full 6% below veterans without disabilities.
Garcia’s attorney, Nancy Abrolat, stated: “Although Mr. Garcia got another job with an employer who honors our anti-discrimination laws, his lawsuits seeks an injunction to prevent future harassment and discrimination against other veterans.” On this Memorial Day, we honor our veterans and want to ensure that our soldiers who risk their lives for our protection and freedoms, regardless of injuries they suffer while serving, return home to gratitude and opportunity.
SOURCE Abrolat Law pc