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32-year-old disabled veteran alleges wrongful termination

Sifting through allegations of wrongful termination is often difficult, as these cases frequently involve dueling parties who do not agree on what took place.

This appears to be the case regarding a disabled young veteran who alleges he was a victim of a wrongful termination when he was fired while working as an EMS worker for the town of Edison, New Jersey.

Though this man has not yet filed a lawsuit, he recently brought attention to his plight when he stood along the roadside holding a sign that claimed the township fired him for serving his country.

The 32-year-old man worked for the township for six years before he was terminated almost two years ago. The township has stated that he was fired for creating a fire hazard for his own enjoyment as well as for posting two videos of work activities on YouTube.

The man has countered that he did not create the fire hazard and was not even on duty during the incident - rather, he uploaded security footage of the hazard onto YouTube after the fact. He also argued that the company's policy against posting videos was not enacted until after he did this.

Things become even more complicated when we learn that the EMS worker was disciplined harshly several times during his career with the township. According to a retired fire chief, he received a daylong suspension for eating at a restaurant on the other side of town. He also received a three-and-a-half month suspension, two months of which were unpaid, after taking a day off for a physical exam during his re-enlistment to the National Guard.

In regard to the latter suspension, the state Department of Justice has told the township to both clear his record and pay him lost wages.

The man has since lost his job; he was fired one day before heading to a National Guard training which left him disabled. The company denies wrongdoing and his union has even sided with the company.

Today, the young veteran is living on disability compensation, residing with family and friends. He has until December of this year to file a suit before the statute of limitations expires.

These back-and-forth allegations are a common feature of wrongful termination allegations. In ascertaining what happened, a thorough examination of the facts is necessary. Both sides have much at stake.

Source: MyCentralJersey.com, "Disabled vet protests his job termination by Edison," Bob Makin, Nov. 11, 2011

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