Nicholas Stover, a former Amazon call center worker in Kentucky who suffers from the inflammatory condition Crohn’s disease, has sued his former company over his dismissal for what claims was a need for more bathroom breaks.
Crohn’s disease causes inflammation of the digestive tract, which can cause diarrhea, fatigue, abdominal pain, cramping, and blood in the stool.
Because he has this condition, Stover says he needed to use the bathroom more often than other employees, but he was consistently reprimanded because of this.
He said he disclosed his condition when he applied, but he was not informed of the break and schedule policies of the company before he was hired in November 2016.
Stover claimed employees were given two 15-minute breaks, an hour for meal time, and a 20 minutes per week of personal time.
After six months, Stove asked the company unscheduled bathroom breaks, a closer desk to the bathroom, and accommodation for his treatments, but these were denied, according to the lawsuit filed in federal court in Lexington on Feb. 15.
Stover’s supervisors did not approve giving him options for unscheduled bathroom breaks nor offered to move his desk closer to the bathroom. He said it took one to two minutes to walk from his work station to the bathroom. The company did not also accommodate his schedule to receive intravenous treatment for Crohn’s.
On Dec. 21, 2017, Stover received an involuntary termination letter. He said the letter did not cite the grounds for his firing from work, but a supervisor told him the firing was for “time theft”.
Stover thinks the company violated the Americans with Disabilities Act with its policies on bathroom access.
He is seeking at least $3 million in damages for lost past and future wages, and for the worsening of the symptoms of his disease.