National News

Veteran says supervisor at VA denying him prescribed work shift

Posted December 18, 2017 1:15 p.m. EST

— Vietnam veteran says his employer at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center is denying him the chance to work during the shift recommended by his doctor.

Eric Carter was diagnosed with Agoraphobia, and can't be around large crowds of people.

"Every time I get around a lot of people I start to get, you know, nervous and panic and stuff like that," said Carter.

According to his doctor at the VA, he should only work the night shift, which has been Carter's shift for the last 8 years.

That is, until this month, when a department head at the VA Environmental Management Services department changed his shift from nights to early mornings, afternoons, a shift Carter says his condition prevents him from working.

"He's practically trying to push me out the door trying to get me to push myself out the door," said Carter, "I'm not trying to do that."

Carter began showing up to his recommended night shift, regardless of the change, only to be turned down for work and pay.

"He'll tell the supervisor, 'if he comes here send him home,'" said Carter of his department head. "'If he doesn't want to leave have VA police escort him off the premises.'"

A spokesperson for the VA in St. Louis tells News 4 they take these types of concerns very seriously and there's a process they go through to see how they can work with employees in a situation like Carters.

She says they are actively working with him at this point.

However, Carter says he hasn't heard from anyone about working things out.

He says he's been dealing with pushback from his department for years now and has even filed two complaints claiming discrimination.

Since News 4 contacted the VA, Carter was granted one night shift, however, he's concerned that may not last for long.

Until then, he'll continue showing up during the shift hoping he won't be turned down.