An Amazon employee with Crohn’s disease is suing because he claims the company fired him for taking too many bathroom breaks.
Nicholas Stover, who worked at the company’s Kentucky call centre, is suing for A$4.2 million after he received a termination letter in December 2017.
The company violated the Americans with Disabilities Act with “unyielding and inhuman policies regarding bathroom access,” according to the 18-page complaint filed in federal court in Lexington.
Mr Stover said Amazon was aware of his illness when he was hired at a Winchester call centre in November 2016.
The suit said the condition can “lead to life-threatening complications.”
Crohn’s inflames the digestive tract and is capable of causing stomach pain, severe diarrhoea, fatigue and weight loss. The illness has no cure but symptoms can be lessened with treatment.
He filed his lawsuit on February 15.
An Amazon spokesman said by email Friday that the company doesn’t comment on pending lawsuits.
Employees at the call centre were given two 15-minute breaks and an hour for meal time, along with 20 minutes a week of personal time, the lawsuit said.
Mr Stover’s supervisor “accused Mr Stover in writing of using ‘too much personal time’ and later told him orally that he was engaging in ‘time theft’ from Amazon because of excessive bathroom breaks”.
Despite requests, his supervisors did not give him any options for unscheduled bathroom breaks and they did not offer to move his work station closer to a bathroom, according to the lawsuit.
His desk was a one-to two-minute walk to the bathroom.
Mr Stover said he also was receiving intravenous treatment for Crohn’s, and the company would not accommodate his treatment schedule.
Stover was fired December 21, 2017, with an “involuntary termination” letter.
It cited no grounds for the firing, the suit said, but a supervisor told Stover that the reason for his firing was “time theft.”
Last year, LinkedIn.com ranked Amazon at the top of its list of the best places to work in the US, and the company has about a half-million employees worldwide.
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