Ex-Account Executive Sues T-Mobile for Failing to Accommodate His PTSD

A long-time Account Executive with T-Mobile has sued the communications giant for disability discrimination, failure to provide reasonable accommodation, failure to engage in the interactive process to determine reasonable accommodation, and tortious termination and discrimination.

Mark Langston was hired by T-Mobile in 2002 as an account executive, according to the complaint. He moved up the ranks, becoming senior account executive before being terminated. He claims to have performed his job in an exemplary manner and received more than 60 awards and commendations for sales achievement.

In February 2009 Langston claims to have suffered a major anxiety attack while driving to a T-Mobile regional sales meeting. Thereafter, T-Mobile afforded him reasonable accommodations to attend fewer meetings and events.

In 2011, however, Langston claims that T-Mobile set a quota for him nearly three times the average of his peers. He further claims his workload was ten times that of his peers and that his supervisor was aware of his physical and mental condition.

In July 2012, Langston received a formal diagnosis of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to the complaint. He informed T-Mobile that “the environmental conditions in the Los Angeles area, specifically high population density, was severely impacting his ability to carry on the activities of his work environment and required an accommodation resulting in relocating residence.”

Monterey, California was found to be the best environment for Langston’s health and well-being. T-Mobile provided him with an accommodation allowing him to work off-site in Monterey.

In April 2014 Langston received an accommodation to forego attendance at an event, citing PTSD concerns. In January 2015 he requested an emergency leave of absence for personal and work reasons, but was not accommodated. In May to September 2015 he exercised medical leave.

Langston them filed a formal letter of grievance with T-Mobile’s human resources department, complaining that “management failed to take the necessary measures to formally document his disability, and overtly declines his request for accommodations.”

Upon his return to work in September 2015, Langston believed that T-Mobile would engage in the interactive process to accommodate his disability, according to the complaint. He reminded them of their obligation to do so in December 2015, but T-Mobile “made no efforts to accommodate [his] disability or engage in the ‘interactive process.’”

Langston was terminated in February 2016.

The case was filed in the Superior Court, Los Angeles County by Ernest Ching.

Image Source: Mike Mozart (Flickr)