Vet Fired For Wanting To Bring Service Dog to Work

Vet Fired For Wanting To Bring Service Dog to Work

August 19, 2016

Vet Fired For Wanting To Bring Service Dog to Work

Shaun Kettner, a Marine veteran from Appleton, WI who suffers from PTSD, is embroiled in a struggle with his employer, L & S Electric.   

 

"Even if you're driving down the road, you look at an overpass, you think of a threat. What's coming from above? You look at a piece of garbage on the side of the road, you think that's an IED."    In 2014, Shaun attempted to commit suicide and was hospitalized for 5 ½ months.  

 

Operation K9 trained a service dog named, Sig, a Dutch Shepard to help Shaun with his PTSD symptoms.  The cost of training a service dog like Sig can get as high as $10,000

service dog

So, when Shaun’s employer, L & S Electric told Shaun that he could not bring his service dog to work he was surprised and dismayed.  According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, businesses must make ‘reasonable accommodations’ including allowing employees to bring their service dogs to their place of employment.  

 

L & S Electric maintained that Shaun did not file the proper paperwork to allow such a concession, however, Shaun denies that.   Kettner said the VA had told him that they were ‘concerned that he would be violating HIPAA laws if he brought Sig to work, so they refused to sign the necessary paperwork.” 

 

The employer also said that Kettner was suspended without pay in March, as they devised a plan to help accommodate him with his service dog.  But, that suspension has turned into a termination.  L & S claims that Kettner resigned over the debacle, while Kettner states that he was wrongly fired and did not resign.  

 

"I'm terminated from the company," says Kettner, adding the company is disputing the claim. "They're telling me that I've resigned, but I've made many attempts to [show] that I've wanted to come back to work. But they won't allow me." 

It is now a matter for the courts to decide.  James Walcheske, Kettner’s attorney stated, "It certainly was a termination.  That's not what (L&S Electric) is calling it." 

 

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3 Responses

AnnMarie Kralik
AnnMarie Kralik

August 22, 2016

This is a shame that this company would do something like this to a Vet and I hope he gets his job back.
I have hard of hearing daughter who has had cats sinc with her. Her cat Bourbon help her get up in the mornings when her alarm goes off, if her cell phone goes off, if someone is at her dorm door. Even makes sure she takes breaks from her school work and gets to bed, too. Service animals are great for the people who needs them. Her cat Bourbon was adopted from a shelter and he is always near her.

Linda West
Linda West

August 21, 2016

Based upon this report, the employer is wrong and has NO UNDERSTANDING of what our Veterans go through trying to reintegrate into our society. This Veteran’s service dog should be considered as a part of the Veteran and welcomed into the workplace.

Virginia McCallum
Virginia McCallum

August 20, 2016

It’s too bad that the electric company is the only one allowed to operate so they can not be boycotted!

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