Suing the Transportation Security Administration (TSA)

A 32 year old male from Queens, NY who’s an amateur open class boxer and born without a right hand is now suing the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), hoping for a win as he has had in the ring.

The suit comes as a result of a letter he received from the TSA after applying for a job as a screener. The letter came after:

1. He successfully passed an exam, background check and interview where he was never asked about his disability or the limitations it may cause relative to the job.
2. Failed the physical.

The TSA letter cited the loss of this applicant’s hand and explained that he was disqualified because he "could not perform the Transportation Security Officer job safely, effectively and efficiently." It said that such duties and responsibilities as opening and closing zippers, snaps and buckles on baggage, as well as opening and inspecting small items would be impacted. The TSA also argued he would not be able to perform pat downs properly.

The candidate stated that there wasn't anything in the job description that he couldn't do, and that the TSA never asked him to demonstrate his abilities. This case reinforces Springboard’s recommendation to companies, relative to the ADAAA, to update all job descriptions, clearly describing the essential functions of the job. This also reinforces the provision of “Regarded as”, under the ADAAA.

Springboard will keep everyone posted on the outcome and response by the EEOC.


This information should not be construed as "legal advice" for a particular set of facts or circumstances. It is intended only to be a practical guide for participants familiar with this subject. Users should seek appropriate legal advice tailored to address their specific situation.