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TSA Discriminate Against One-Handed Man?

By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. | Last updated on

Can a one-handed man be a TSA agent? According to Michael Costantino, 32, the answer is "no." The one-handed boxer from New York applied to become a TSA agent, but was rejected because of his disability. Now, he is alleging a claim of discrimination against the TSA.

Costantino is alleging that the TSA violated discrimination laws.

He passed a test where potential screeners were asked to pick out weapons on the X-ray images, cleared a background check and a job interview, reports The Washington Post. He also had to go through a medical exam. Two weeks after the medical exam he received notice that he was disqualified from the position on the basis of his condition.

Costantino was born without a left hand. He also says that the medical examiner never tested whether he was physically capable to perform what the job would require of him, such as lifting luggage or patting down passengers, reports MSNBC.

Costantino has filed a complaint with the TSA's Equal Employment Opportunity Office, and the office will have 180 days to investigate the claim. After the claim is investigated, Constantino can ask for a hearing at the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, reports The Washington Post.

While most private employers are covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act, which includes employers who have at least fifteen employees, employers who are contractors or subcontractors of the federal government, or those employers that receive federal funds, are covered by the Rehabilitation Act.

The Rehabilitation Act is very similar in scope to the Americans with Disabilities Act, and prohibits discrimination by federal employers.

Was there discrimination by the TSA? According to Costantino there was. An attorney for the one handed man says the TSA simply assumed that Costantino couldn't do the job because of his disability, according to The Washington Post.

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