JERSEY CITY (CN) – A diabetic truck driver claims in court that he was fired after his company wouldn’t let him drive 4 miles out of the way to get medicine he needed.
Evelio DeJesus sued DMS Express, in Hudson County Court.
DeJesus says he takes medicine for diabetes and anxiety. He claims that the Kearney, N.J.-based trucking company “refused to allow [him] to take a short break in order to pick up his prescription medication” when he arrived in Kearney, though he had informed it two days before that he would need to do that.
When he arrived in Kearney at 1 p.m., he says, he was ordered “to pick up a shipment in southern New Jersey and deliver it in Atlanta, Georgia by noon the next day.”
“Plaintiff explained that he was in need of his medication, and that his medication was available at a CVS less than 4 miles away from defendant’s Kearney location,” DeJesus says in the complaint.
“Defendant again refused plaintiffs request for an accommodation and told plaintiff that he was already late to pick up the shipment in southern New Jersey.
“In response, plaintiff asked if he could pick up his medication when he arrived in southern New Jersey.
“Defendant told him he could not and reiterated that he needed to be in Atlanta by noon the next day.”
DeJesus says the orders violated Department of Transportation hours-of-service rules, and were unsafe, as he “did not believe he could safely drive to Atlanta without his prescription diabetes medication.”
“Accordingly, plaintiff objected to defendant’s request as he believed that following such a direction was unlawful and unsafe.
“Defendant terminated plaintiff because of his objections to defendant’s unlawful and unsafe requests and because he requested an accommodation to pick up his medication.”
He seeks damages for disability discrimination, retaliation and wrongful termination. He is represented by Justin Swidler with Swartz Swidler of Cherry Hill, N.J.
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