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Frederick Gentry v. Barbara Barrett, Secretary of the U.S. Air Force

Fred Gentry served as a U.S. Air Force survival instructor for over 20 years, retiring as a Master Sergeant. Following his honorable discharge from the military he worked as both a contractor for the Air Force and then, from 2011 until his termination in 2018, as an employee of the Air Force’s Joint Personnel Recovery Agency. In June 2016 Mr. Gentry was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) arising out of a training accident that occurred years earlier. Within weeks of learning of the diagnosis his supervisor, for the first time in Mr. Gentry’s professional career, began counseling him on his alleged poor performance. Mr. Gentry sought an accommodation, including the option to move to a vacant position but the JPRA denied that request. Many of Mr. Gentry’s co-workers had work available for Mr. Gentry to conduct, work which would have accommodated Mr. Gentry’s disability; however, the JPRA would not allow Mr. Gentry to continue with that work. Mr. Gentry’s disability discrimination and failure to accommodate lawsuit is available here.

 

After Mr. Gentry filed the lawsuit the Air Force asked the Court to dismiss Mr. Gentry’s lawsuit. Mr. Gentry responded to the Air Force’s Motion. The Court denied the Air Force’s Motion to Dismiss.

 

Following the Court’s denial of the Air Force’s Motion to Dismiss discovery began and depositions were taken. Those depositions revealed that the Air Force couldn’t get its story straight on the essential functions of Mr. Gentry’s job, that the Air Force fired Mr. Gentry based on conduct related to his disability, the Air Force didn’t follow some of its own rules regarding the accommodation of disabled employees, additional documents likely hadn’t been produced, and the person who recommended that Mr. Gentry was medically unable to work at JPRA wasn’t qualified to make that recommendation.

 

The Air Force agreed to settle the case for $200,000.00 but did not admit liability as part of the settlement.


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