Former delivery technician alleges disability discrimination

Kasey Schefflin-Emrich Sep. 2, 2015, 1:35pm


A Saltsburg man is suing a a medical supply business, alleging he was terminated from his job because of his disability.

Billyjoel Nelson filed a lawsuit July 31 in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania against MedCare Equipment and Excela Health, alleging violations of the Rehabilitation Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act.

According to the complaint, Nelson, a delivery technician, was required to submit to a drug and alcohol screening after he was involved in a minor motor vehicle accident in February 2014 as his employer had a drug free workplace. The suit states the screening came back positive for drug that is a component of Fioricet, which was prescribed to Nelson for migraine headache relief in 2009.

Despite providing the defendants with proof of his prescription and a verification note from his primary care physician, which the defendants requested, the lawsuit says Nelson was terminated in March 2014.

The plaintiff alleges he was capable of performing the essential functions of a delivery technician and wasn't allowed to return to work because he was disabled, regarded as disabled and/or had a record of disability within the meaning of the Rehabilitation Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act and the PHRA with or without accommodations.

Nelson seeks reinstatement, back and front pay, lost benefits, compensatory and punitive damages, attorney fees, court costs and other relief deemed appropriate by the court. He is represented by attorney Gregory G. Paul of Morgan & Paul in Sewickley.

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania case number: 2:15-cv-00996-JFC.

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