Veteran claims disability dispute got him fired from VA job - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Veteran claims disability dispute got him fired from VA job

The two-time war veteran successfully sued to keep his night shift at the VA, but he says that lawsuit may have gotten him fired. (Source: KMOV/CNN) The two-time war veteran successfully sued to keep his night shift at the VA, but he says that lawsuit may have gotten him fired. (Source: KMOV/CNN)

ST. LOUIS (KMOV/CNN) – A two-time war veteran in Missouri was fired, allegedly after taking improper leave, but the vet and his lawyer claim the true reason is because he fought to stay on the night shift, due to his agoraphobia.

Veteran Eric Carter, a custodian at a St. Louis Veterans Affairs Medical Center, received letters during the week of July 4 stating grounds of termination.

The letters alleged Carter went AWOL, taking improper leave and dressing out of uniform, but Carter says the days in question, he requested to take medical leave.

"Anytime that I call in, it be for legit reasons,” Carter said.

The veteran and attorney feel the termination is actually payback after Carter won a lawsuit over a shift change.

Carter is diagnosed with agoraphobia, so he’s unable to be around crowds of people. His doctor at the VA said he should only work the night shift.

But in December, the VA moved Carter off the shift he had been working for eight years, changing it to early mornings, a shift Carter says he’s unable to work.

Carter sued and won that battle, keeping his original shift. He says in the six months since he’s been careful at work, so he’s stunned by his termination.

"I think it's awful. I really do think it's really bad that you can't come to work and work in an environment that you served your country for,” Carter said. "I just wish it all would go away."

The VA said they can’t comment on the case because they are still reviewing it.

For now, Carter says he’s trying to remain positive.

"You back a dog against a wall, and he'll strike out at you. I'm not trying to do none of that. All I want to do is be left alone,” Carter said.

Copyright 2018 KMOV, Department of Veterans Affairs via CNN. All rights reserved.

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