#1 Canned Tourette’s sufferer slaps Brooklyn court with bias suit06-04-2012, 12:54 AM
The suit seeks relief under the Americans with Disabilities Act and demands compensation for lost wages, health and pension benefits
By John Marzulli / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Saturday, June 2, 2012, 1:24 AM
A former Manhattan court officer with Tourette’s syndrome says he was discriminated against because his superiors wouldn’t accommodate his bizarre disability.
Michael O’Dette contends that all he needed to cope with his job was access to a private room to “relieve himself of his tics” once or twice a day, according to a lawsuit filed in Brooklyn Federal Court.
O’Dette, 52, had such a room inside the courthouse at 60 Centre St., but his nine-year career began to unravel after he cursed at a co-worker who called him a “retard” in July 2009, and then refused a transfer to a different courthouse.
He was canned in March.
The complaint describes in graphic detail how O’Dette managed to cope with his neurological condition, which he says he’s had since he was 7, but was not diagnosed with until 2006. He also suffers from obsessive compulsive disorder.
“Plaintiff (O'Dette) can suppress the tics the same way that a person can suppress an itch, but eventually he must give in and scratch,” the complaints states.
“For Plaintiff, ‘scratching' consists of relieving himself of the tics, once or twice a day, by making loud and embarrassing noises and by using profanity.”
The courthouse at 60 Centre St. has private spaces where O’Dette was able to relieve himself of his motor and vocal tics when the stress built up without disturbing the public, and “to avoid exposing himself to ridicule,” according to the complaint.
O’Dette says working the magnetometer in the courthouse lobby was stressful and made his tics worse. His psychiatrist had written a letter to court officials noting that the condition was controllable if O’Dette could be assigned to a less stressful assignment. O'Dette carried a firearm while on the job.
David Bookstaver, a spokesman for the Office of Court Administration, declined to comment.
O’Dette’s lawyer did not return calls.
The suit seeks relief under the Americans with Disabilities Act and demands compensation for lost wages, health and pension benefits.
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/...#ixzz1wnFQoE1C
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