Amazon fires man with Crohn’s disease for taking too many bathroom breaks

Amazon fires man with Crohn’s disease for taking too many bathroom breaks

In any normal job, when you have to go, you have to go. That wasn’t the case for an Amazon employee diagnosed with painful Crohn’s disease.

Nicolas Stover is suing the company after being fired from a Kentucky, US call centre for what his supervisor told him was “time theft”.

In the involuntary termination letter he received on December 21, 2017, there was no written reason for his dismissal, although he said his supervisor accused him of taking too much personal time due to his “excessive bathroom breaks”.

Because of the disease, Mr Stover says he was forced to use the bathroom more often than other employees, causing him to be consistently reprimanded.

“Episodes of symptoms of Crohn’s disease can occur without warning and can require urgent response, including the immediate need for bathroom facilities,” Mr Stover says in the 18-page complaint.

He believes the company violated the Americans with Disabilities Act with “unyielding and inhuman policies regarding bathroom access”.

It mentions he disclosed the disease when he applied for the job and during training after he was hired in November 2016.

In legal documents filed on February 15, Mr Stover is seeking $US3 million ($A4.2 million) in damages for lost wages and a “significant amplification of the symptoms” of Crohn’s disease.

At the Kentucky call centre, employees are given an hour of mealtime, two 15-minute breaks and 20 minutes a week of personal time, says Mr Stover.

The complaint mentions the allotted time for bathroom breaks cannot be changed by employees.

After six months, Mr Stover requested unscheduled bathroom breaks, a closer desk to the bathroom and accommodations for his intravenous treatment of the disease.

They were all denied or pushed to the side, the documents claim.

Human Resources mentioned if they met his bathroom needs, they would have to do so for everyone else, said Mr Stover.

In April 2017, Amazon said they didn’t monitor toilet breaks in response to a story from British journalist James Bloodworth.

Bloodworth had described some desperate measures UK Amazon workers were forced to take to meet high productivity targets.

It’s still unknown how widespread these bathroom policies are, and if this single instance is an outlier.

An Amazon spokesman said the company didn’t comment on pending legal matters.

This article originally appeared on Fox News and was reproduced with permission

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