Andrew McCabe, former Deputy FBI Director was fired late Friday, the last work day before his retirement would have vested. After he was fired, Politico released an interview in which the embattled Deputy explained that Pres. Trump had been after him, tweeting about him since late December, 2017. It was in December when it became public knowledge that Mr. McCabe could corroborate James Comey’s concerns about Pres. Trump.

Mr. McCabe is referring to something often seen in sexual harassment cases. If the alleged victim discusses the unwanted harassment with a co-worker or friend, that helps corroborate her complaints. Harassment generally happens behind closed doors. There are usually no direct witnesses. But, if the victim discusses her experiences at or about the time of the harassment, that testimony from a friend or co-worker is probably admissible. That appears to be the value Mr. McCabe provides for Mr. Comey. And, that corroboration apparently attracted the attention of the President.

The lawyer for Mr. McCabe, Michael Bromwich, is a former IG for the Department of Justice. He indicates in the Politico news report that rarely have IG investigations progressed so quickly. The investigation started in late December, and now, three months later, the Deputy Director has been fired. As we know from discrimination cases, any major deviation from normal procedure will support an inference of illicit motive.

Mr. Mccabe explained that he was effectively removed from his post in January. He apparently means he was asked to leave his position as Deputy Director and serve in a different capacity, He was not willing to do that. So, on short notice, he was told he had to leave his post and use his terminal leave. That means since January, he has been at home on leave.

And, as these events were unfolding, Pres. Trump was tweeting about McCabe’s “race” to obtain his benefits before he might be fired. And once Mr. McCabe was fired, the President again tweeted his pleasure that he had been fired. He expressed no regret for McCabe’s loss of his pension. Those sorts of tweets do help show that the President was involved somehow in the alleged discipline of the Deputy Director. Evidence takes many forms. These tweets by themselves do not mean much. But, in conjunction with other types of evidence, these tweets provide the crucial look to the President’s intent. Obstruction of justice is a crime of intent.

If this were a discrimination case, I would be thrilled to have a supervisor tweeting about his hopes and desires in regard to my client. And, then at the end, the supervisor claps and celebrates the firing. Any decent lawyer could make wonderful use of those sorts of comments. The President may well come to regret this tweeting before this is all done. Deputy Director McCabe was employed by the FBI for 21 years. The DOJ just now discovered he was not a good employee? If this were a discrimination lawsuit, I would love to have this sort of evidence.

See Politico report.

One of the many challenges with every employment case involves which judge hears the lawsuit. If the wrong judge is assigned to a given lawsuit, the chances  of prevailing diminish. Lauren Browning learned this when she filed a lawsuit in 2005 alleging she was discriminated against on the basis of her gender at Southwest Research Institute here in San Antonio, Texas. Dr. Browning was a scientist, the only female scientist in her department. She complained about discrimination in general and in regard to her pay. In response, she was threatened with firing and was told her travel reimbursement requests would be looked at very closely. The SWRI Administrator pounded his fist on her desk and accused her of abusing the travel rules at the Institute. Her supervisor kept a secret file on her. Her boss warned her not to go to HR about her pay issues, again. Dr. Browning quit. She filed suit a year later.

The employer moved for summary judgment. Magistrate Judge Primomo recommended granting the motion. In his Recommendation, he consistently construed the evidence in favor of the employer, not the employee. For example, he mentioned that Dr,. Browning’s supposed written complaints about discrimination did not clearly invoke discrimination. He never mentioned that she also complained verbally. His recommendation disregarded Plaintiff’s affidavit that she wrote on the back of one of her evaluations that she felt she was the victim of wage disparities based on her gender. Yet, the Magistrate did accept affidavit testimony from her superior. The magistrate was expecting a higher level of evidence from the plaintiff than from the defendant.

The Magistrate Judge discussed the plaintiff’s allegation that she was not promoted, while men with inferior qualifications were promoted. The Magistrate Judge concluded that the plaintiff claimed no supervisor “approached” her about seeking a promotion. The Magistrate was suggesting the plaintiff expected management to come to her about possible promotions, an obviously unrealistic expectation. But, the plaintiff’s claims involved much more than that. The plaintiff actually said there was no way for a scientist to learn of any promotion opportunity because the openings were not posted. Even if they were posted, there was no mechanism by which an employee could apply for given position. Again, the Magistrate Judge construed the available evidence against the employee.

The Magistrate Judge claimed the secret file on her could not have upset her, because it was secret. The Magistrate Judge never mentioned that keeping a secret file suggests illicit motive on the part of the supervisor. He was viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the movant, not to the non-movant.

It did not help Dr. Browning’s case that she quit. After years of abusive treatment, Dr. Browning quit. That means in a lawsuit for Title VII discrimination, she must show she was forced to quit. Mag. Judge Primomo found the conditions were not so bad that she truly had to quit. In finding the conditions were not so bad, the Magistrate Judge relied on testimony from the management witnesses while disregarding Dr. Browning’s testimony.

The Magistrate even found an argument not advanced by the employer. The Magistrate claimed that having Dr. Browning interview her replacement was not humiliating because she did not yet know she would resign. Yet, there was no evidence in the record regarding when the plaintiff decided to resign. The Magistrate Judge was looking for evidence to help the employer, not the employee. Mag. Judge Primomo did the same thing in Heinsohn v. Carabin and Shaw, No. 14-CV-00094 (W.D.Tex.). In Heinsohn, Mag. Judge Primomo again came up with an argument that helped the employer which had not been advanced by the employer. A court should not enter a summary judgment for an employer based upon a reason not articulated by the employer but identified sua sponte by the district court. Thomas v. Eastman Kodak Co., 183 F.3d 38, 62 (1st Cir. 1999). The Magistrate Judge was trying to help the employer. Yet, at the summary judgment stage, his task was to construe evidence in favor of the employee.

Regarding summary judgment, the court must view the evidence in favor of the non-movant. The point of summary judgment is not to arrive at the truth, but to test the evidence and see whether there is enough evidence to justify a trial. A tie ought to go to the plaintiff. The Browning v. Southwest Research Institute case was complicated. The briefs for both sides exceeded 40 pages each. The plaintiff appealed to the appointed judge, Fred Biery. But, Judge Biery accepted the Magistrate’s finding with a very brief three page opinion. Judge Biery’s decision accepted the Recommendation with little discussion of the very complicated evidence.

The plaintiff then appealed to the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans. Dr. Browning drew a generally pro-employer judge, Edith Jones. Judge Jones issued a decision that does not discuss the evidence in any detail. Instead, the opinion simply refers to the plaintiffs’ “broad conclusory” allegations. The decision nitpicks the evidence to find objective facts supporting a failure to promote while disregarding the subjective use made of those apparent facts. For example, Dr. Browning is accused of making gratuitous negative comments about co-workers, as if that alone would justify a low evaluation. But, the better question is how were comparable male workers evaluated for same or similar offenses? Did male co-workers receive the same poor evaluations for a similar offense? That is the critical question. Judge Jones never asked that question. The Fifth Circuit decision looks at the incident in which her boss threatened her with termination when she complained about unequal pay and concludes they were simply discussing pay issues. Judge Jones minimized her evidence. Again, the judge construed the evidence not in favor of the employee, but in favor of the employer.

The Fifth Circuit decision never mentioned the incident in which the Administrator pounded his fist on Dr. Browning’s desk and said he would scrutinize Dr. Browning’s travel reimbursement requests. In the end, the Fifth Circuit opinion found nothing occurred other than the normal “petty annoyances” in any job. The Fifth Circuit and Judge Jones issued a result-oriented decision. Dr. Browning lost, again. See the Fifth Circuit opinion here.

So, in a case in which a woman complained about discrimination and was met with fist pounding and threats of termination, she could not even get a trial. The plaintiff appealed to the U.S. Supreme court. But, the Supreme Court accepts less than 1% of the appeal filed. Hers was not one of the lucky few.

Recently, Dr, Browning spoke with the Medium about her lawsuit experience. See Medium report here. Needless to say, she found the legal experience to be result oriented. Facts were less important than the fact that she was an employee and her case appeared in front of the wrong judges. Dr. Browning no longer works in her field. She was not able to find employment in the field she loved. The employer offered to settle her case, despite winning at the district court. Dr. Browning, however, declined to settle, since any settlement would require her to agree to a confidentiality clause. She insisted on her right to discuss what happened to her, both at her place of employment and in our civil justice system.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has field suit agains Zachry Industrial for discriminating against persons with disabilities. According to the San Antonio Express News, Zachry Industrial operates a refinery in Pascagoula, Mississippi and it has fired workers after they notified their employer of a disability. Zachry Industrial is headquartered here in San Antonio. See San Antonio Express News report. Zachry Industrial employs 900 employees here in San Antonio and some 22,000 employees world wide.

At least three workers were fired after notifying their employer they suffered from some impairment. Of course, the employer should not fire persons who report a new impairment. Instead, the employer is required to engage in a discussion about accommodations the person might need and what accommodations the employer can provide. The lawsuit was filed in the Southern District of Mississippi.

Zachry Industrial was previously sued for discrimination based on gender. See EEOC press release here. In that lawsuit, the EEOC said the employer fired a woman after she complained about discrimination. Zachry Industrial was formerly known as Zachary Construction Corporation.

You can file a lawsuit about anything. But, that does not mean you should. Yet, it appears a former TCU football player has done just that. Kolby Listenbee, a talented receiver for the TCU football team from 2012 to 2015, has filed suit against Texas Christian University for supposedly pressuring him to play while he was hurt. Mr. Listenbee says Coach Gary Patterson bullied him into playing while he was hurt. Many former TCU players have come to the defense of Coach Patterson, insisting they also played hurt but did not feel forced. See Ft. Worth Star Telegram column by Mac Engel.

Coach Patterson indicates he feels a little hurt by the lawsuit. But, he cannot discuss the lawsuit in any detail. See Star Telegram report. He insists it has always been about the 40 years after graduation, not the 4 years in college. Mr. Listenbee says the coaches forced him to play before he was fully healed. See Ft Worth Star Telegram report. He said his problem was with some coaches, not all of them.

As Mr. Engel explains, this is really a lawsuit against football itself. All football coaches bully to some degree. But, in the world of lawsuits and courts, Mr. Listenbee will have to show someone pointed a gun at his head and made him don his pads. Otherwise, no. Subtle or even not-so-subtle pressure does not count as “forced” to play. If that were true, there would be millions of lawsuits literally overnight against football coaches across the country. In fact, now that I think about it, I have this trick thumb I got when a coach “forced” me to play little league baseball when I was 12…….

Judge Edith Jones is at it, again. In a recent opinion, in which she was the  loser, she traded angry barbs with her judicial colleagues who comprised the majority opinion. In the case of Doe v. Office of Refugee Resettlement, No. 18-40146 (5th Cir. 3/1/2018), the court addressed the situation of a pregnant immigrant who sought an abortion. A non-profit group referred the young immigrant to lawyers who would assist her in seeking an abortion. The lawyers met with the young immigrant who confirmed she wanted an abortion. They set the matter for hearing in a state court. In the U.S., a person can seek an abortion without parental approval if she proceeds to court.

But, the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) would not let the two lawyers meet again with the young woman. The ORR passed a note to the lawyers apparently from Ms. Doe indicating she no longer wanted an abortion. ORR refused to produce the young woman at the hearing. The lawyers tried to meet with their client, but ORR refused to allow such a meeting.

About that same time, the state court appointed the two lawyers, Myles Garza and Rochelle Garza to represent the young immigrant. The Garza’s then removed the lawsuit to federal court and the federal court refused to allow the move to federal court. The Garza’s appealed that order.

Judge Jones characterized the meeting between the two lawyers and the young immigrant in dark terms, describing the meeting as “Doe came into contact with lawyers who had learned about her pregnancy” – a description to which the majority opinion objected. As the majority explained, the only issue that matters is that Ms. Doe once wanted an abortion and now may not want one. How the lawyers happened to come to represent their client should not matter.

Judge Jones accused these “agenda-driven” lawyers of preying upon a young immigrant, said the majority opinion. As the majority noted, judicial spin did not address the salient fact, whether the young unaccompanied immigrant has the right to an abortion or whether she wants one. Too, Judge Jones’ characterization ignored the contrary facts as presented by the Garza’s, two officers of the court. That is judge-speak for Judge Jones jumped to conclusions based upon little or no evidence.

Having dispensed with the accusations made by the dissent, the majority opinion found it an easy question that when a minor requests an abortion, a state court holds a hearing and the federal agency lacks a valid defense to the state court, then removal is proper. The proper course is to ask the minor female what does she want. The court found that if the minor female wanted an abortion, it is not the role of the federal agency to obstruct that wish.

The majority opinion addressed the constitutional argument posed by Judge Jones in her dissent. It noted that that argument was neither raised or briefed by either party. The court then found there was no “war” here, just simple fact issues – apparently referring to what does the minor female want.

In her dissent,. Judge Jones described Jane Doe as a “pawn” in a fight for control by the federal government over its relationship with unaccompanied minors who are in its custody because they have not been allowed legally into the country. Judge Jones argued that Ms. Doe was in the custody of ORR and they were legally responsible for her. Judge Jones accused the two lawyers of having an “avowed advocacy agenda” apparently based on Rochelle Garza’s status as a named plaintiff in a lawsuit for a class action for unaccompanied minors seeking abortion. The judge accused Ms. Garza of seeking to “usurp” decisions that ORR should make. The judge accused the Garza’s of not seeking to work with ORR in regard to Ms. Doe.

The two Garza’s, asserts Judge Jones, “have demonstrated by word and deed that their goal is to foster abortions.” The judge then asserted that what was “unsaid” in the majority opinion was that there was some constitutional right to abortion via this bypass court procedure in state court. Judge Jones argued that a bypass court is not needed when Ms. Doe already has a custodian, ORR.

Judge Jones apparently objected to the majority opinion describing the judge’s dissent as seeing this lawsuit as part of a “war.” Judge Jones insisted in a footnote that she is not Joan of Act. She explained that anyone who is “well-educated” should know that the phrase “win the battle, lose the war” referred to a Pyrrhic victory. Judge Jones was clearly annoyed, as were the majority opinion authors. Her focus on this tenuous request for an abortion as part of the “war” on abortion does seem over the top. I have written about Judge Jones before in regard to her difficulties with her colleagues on the Fifth Circuit. See my prior post here. Judge Jones can be very caustic for a judge. She seems very certain of her positions.

Back in 2011, Judge Jones grew impatient with Judge Dennis, a more liberal member of the court, when Judge Dennis asked one too many questions, at least in her opinion. Judge Jones told Judge Dennis to “shut up” and asked him to leave the court room. As Above the Law blog explained, it is exceedingly rare to hear one judge tell another to shut up. See Above the Law explanation about what happened in 2011 here. Judges Jones seems very certain of her positions. She did later apologize to Judge Dennis.

See the decision in Doe v. Office of Refugee Resettlement here.

In Office of the Attorney General v. Rodriguez, a supervisor reported possible insurance fraud to her supervisor at the Office of the Attorney General of Texas. Laura Rodriguez believed she had a duty to report fraud, waste or abuse. She reported possible fraud concerning her her long-time friend and administrative assistant, Debbie Galindo. Ms. Rodriguez reported the apparent fraud in January, 2009 to her supervisor. The employer investigated and found her suspicions to be correct, that the co-worker had tried to commit insurance fraud in listing a non-relative on her insurance plan. The supervisor, Charles Smith, later started an investigation of Ms. Roidriguez based on an old complaint about her and based on a newer complaint.

As part of the investigation into Ms. Rodriguez, her complaint about Ms. Galindo came up. The investigators reported to Mr. Smith that Ms. Rodriguez had shown bad judgment as a supervisor. They claimed she had become “irrational” when they asked her about renting a home to Ms. Galindo’s family. In actuality, Ms. Rodriguez did break down and cry when asked about the rental and told that rental to Galindo was not appropriate. Later, Ms. Rodriguez wanted to discipline one of her subordinates. Mr. Smith thought the manner of the discipline was improper and again showed poor judgment on the part of Ms. Rodriguez. In September, 2009, Mr. Smith drafted his first termination memo regarding Ms. Rodriguez. Jo Kirk, an attorney in the HR section at OAG advised Smith to make it a demotion, based on similar discipline of another supervisor at the OAG.

So, when Ms. Galindo was placed on suspension for her insurance fraud, Ms. Rodriguez was herself demoted later that same day in September, 2009. The next day, Mr. Smith issued a written warning to Ms. Rodriguez for the complaint about her by a subordinate, and for her renting a house to Ms. Galindo’s family members. When she was demoted, Ms. Rodriguez had to perform evaluations for all her former employees. Due to that requirement, she fell behind quickly in her new job.

In her evaluation in December, 2009, Mr. Smith gave her high marks, but in the area of ethics, she was rated very low for an alleged business relationship with one of her employees. Mr. Smith said that her business relationship “cast doubt” on her initial complaint about possible insurance fraud.

Ms. Rodriguez then submitted a claim of retaliation, saying that Mr, Smith had included false statements on her evaluation. A few months later, her new supervisor terminated Ms. Rodriguez. Ms. Rodriguez filed suit regarding her termination. The jury found the whistle blower complaint was part of her termination and award her $260,000 in lost pay, compensatory (emotional suffering) damages of $100,000, and lost future pay in the amount of $275,000.

On appeal, the OAG argued the evidence did not support the finding that her whistle blowing was part of her termination and that the evidence did not support the award of lost future pay, or “front pay.” The El Paso Court of Appeals did not agree wit the Office of the Attorney General. The court found that management conduct during the whole process supported the finding. Her supervisor thought it “odd” that Ms. Rodriguez took her concerns to a higher level, instead of disciplining the subordinate herself. The court noted that the employer wanted her to violate its own policy in requiring her to confront Ms. Galindo directly. Ms. Rodriguez wanted to keep her complaint anonymous, as OAG policy allowed. In pressing her to confront Ms. Galindo, the OAG was violating its own policy. Violating an employer’s own policy does help show illicit motive.

Too, the court of appeals found that a comparable employee was indeed comparable because they were accused of similar infractions, even if they had different supervisors. So, it was relevant that the comparable employee was not disciplined as severely as Ms. Rodriguez. Ms. Rodriguez’ replacement as Office Manager suffered from the same degree of backlogs as she did. Yet, her replacement was not fired or disciplined. And, noted the court, the fact that Mr. Smith included false statements in his evaluation of Mr. Rodriguez helps show illicit intent on his part.

Regarding lost future pay, or “front pay,” the court found that Ms. Rodriguez accepted a lower paying job that was not comparable to her last job as Office Manage – only after a fruitless search that lasted 18 months. If the employer believes Ms. Rodriguez could have found a job sooner than 18 months, it has the burden to show that. But, the OAG offered no such evidence.

See the decision here.

What control does an employer have over a worker after work hours and away from the job? In Texas, as in most states, the employer can have a great deal of control, if it wishes. We are an “at will” state in Texas, as are most states. In an at-will state, an employer can fire a worker for any reason, so long as the reason does not violate any discrimination statute. Unless some law exists to limit what the employer can do, the employer can do as it pleases. There is no law that prevents an employer from requiring a worker to do or not do something on his/her own time. So, when Capt. Shawn Ury says the City of San Antonio was wrong to tell him he cannot work a second job after hours, that does not make a lot of sense.

As a union member, he may have different rights. The Collective Bargaining Agreement may have some limitation on what the City can do or not do regarding union member after hours. But, absent some provision in the CBA, the City can indeed tell him he cannot work a second job. The only enforcement mechanism is to discipline him and perhaps, terminate him. But, sure, they an ask him to do anything that does not conflict with discrimination statutes or various penal statutes. According to the San Antonio Express-News, Capt. Ury has had a hearing in front of an arbitrator regarding this issue. The ultimate decision is up to the arbitrator. But, in Texas, yes indeed, an employer can tell an employee not to work a second job – or not to wear a green shirt or whatever-  on his/her off-time. The employee, after all, can always choose to quit. See San Antonio Express News report.

In a recent decision, the Texas Supreme Court found in favor of an employee. And, as far as I know it did not snow last July. In Green v. Dallas County Schools, No. 16-0214 (Tex. 5/12/2017), Paul Green a bus monitor, urinated on himself while on the bus. He was fired and sued. The jury awarded him $41,000 in lost pay and $125,000 in compensatory (emotional suffering) damages. He had been battling congestive heart failure and was taking medications which made him incontinent. Mr. Green had told the bus driver he needed to use a restroom but the driver ignored him. There were no students on the bus. Yet, the driver would not stop a a restroom. He eventually urinated into a bottle and got his pants wet. Three weeks later, he took a week off from work and was fired when he returned. The school said he put the safety of students at risk by peeing into a bottle and was unprofessional.

At trial, the parties agreed the plaintiff suffered from a disability. The only question at trial was whether he was fired because of his disability. The jury found he was. The Court of Appeals reversed and issued a take-nothing judgment, saying there was no evidence the disability caused the incontinence. The Texas Supreme Court, however, found  that the urinary incontinence itself was a disability, because it was a side effect of the underlying condition. The Court noted that at trial, the Plaintiff might not have argued that clearly to the court of appeals, that the incontinence itself was an impairment. But, the plaintiff certainly did mention to the court of appeals that the incontinence was part of his disability.

Dallas County Schools then argued that there was no evidence that the supervisors knew Green suffered from incontinence. But, noted the Supreme Court, Green himself testified that he told the decision-maker that he was taking a “fluid pill” that made him incontinent and that he suffered from a condition that made him urinate involuntarily. In reading the Fifth District’s opinion, the court did seem concerned that there was no “undisputed” evidence connecting the medication to incontinence. It seemed overly concerned about whether the evidence was disputed at trial – as if the evidence might not be disputed at trial. The court of appeals seems more concerned about re-weighing the evidence than in allowing the jury to draw an inference. This appeal strikes me as almost frivolous. It should have been an easy decision to uphold the jury. Some courts of appeals just seem determined to undermine a jury finding. See the Texas Supreme Court decision here.

Autism is becoming more and more common. Folks disagree about why, but all agree we see more and more of the diagnosis. The remarkable thing about persons with autism is they can display brilliance in a wide variety of subjects. Yet, many employers resist hiring persons with autism. The employer who do hire them really appreciate them. Microsoft is one. They hired Christopher with a degree in computer science. They wanted to hire persons with a diagnosis of autism. As one of the hiring managers mentioned, persons with autism are one of the great un-tapped niches in hiring. But, Jenny Lay-Lurie herself also has an impairment. She is deaf.

Ms. Lay-Lurie helped create a different sort of hiring process, one that relies less on the traditional job interview. Job interviews are hard for persons with autism. One symptom of autism is a lack of social skills. For a orson with limited social skills, job interviews reveal little about the person. So, she helped create a hiring program that relies on team building exercises and a vetting process that lasts weeks.

Christopher was hired soon after going through that process. He was not self-concious while performing a set of tasks, rather than the traditional interview. Christopher’s manager was soon impressed with his ability to think outside the box. That is no small skill in the software world.

In April, 2017, 50 large corporations came together to determine how to bring more persons with autism into the work force. The meeting was hosted at SAP in Silicon Valley, California. SAP started its Autism at Work program five years ago and has hired some 128 persons on the spectrum since then. SAP has experienced a 90% retention rate for its employees with autism. One technique that worked for SAP was to assign a onsite mentor for each person on the spectrum. That person has provided the one-on-one coaching persons with autism need. Microsoft also employs mentors for each person on the spectrum.

See CBS news report.

We see more and more service animals. Setvice animals have become a critical tool in dealing with the PTSD suffered by many soldiers. Many public places do not understand the rules regarding service animals. In one recent instance, American Airlines refused to allow a veteran on board with her service dog. Lisa McCombs of Mississippi filed suit in 2016 and just recently settled her case. A veteran of both Iraq and Afghanistan, Ms. McCombs, like most veterans with PTSDS, relies on the service dog to provide trained skills. Those skills include shielding Ms. McCombs from other persons when she is feeling trauma and to moving closer to the veteran when she is feeling stress. Those are not small skills when a person suffers from PTSD.

Ms. MCombs was not allowed to board with her service dog, despite having documentation that her dog, Jake, was a trained animal. The AA clerk upon seeing the dog, said, “Ummmmm are you trying to fly with that?”

Ms. McCombs apparently sued under the Air Carrier Access Act. American Airlines argued that the ACA Act does not allow a private right of action. See Task & Purpose report.

Regulations define a service animal as one that has received specialized training to perform skills it would not otherwise possess. It helps that the service animal display some rig or vest to indicate it is a service animal.

The district judge in Gulfport, Mississippi rejected the Airlines’ motion to dismiss. It also allowed the Plaintiff to amend the complaint to add other veterans who were also denied boarding by American Airlines with their service animals. See Miami Herald report. One of the other female veterans had a full blown panic attack after some American Airlines employees surrounded her and asked her why she needed a dog since she was not blind.

The requirements of the ADA are not well known,. But, in each the instances mentioned in the lawsuit, the veteran called ahead and had his/her papers with them. They did their part to educate AA employees. The Airline needs to do its part. On a personal level, if that happened while I was about, I would find it very difficult to not get in someone’s face.