Terrence Hersey was a supervisor for Union Pacific. After he had a stroke on the way home from his railroad job in 2015, he underwent months of therapy before his doctors eventually cleared him to return to work with no restrictions.
That recommendation wasn’t good enough for Union Pacific. The railroad decided after reviewing Hersey’s records — but without a doctor’s examination — that he was unfit for his job overseeing inspections of stationary railcars in Chicago because of the risk he would become incapacitated. “I had a doctor that cleared me, and then Union Pacific did not give me any kind of physical or anything. I felt tossed to the side,” said Hersey.
By losing this job, Hersey lost his car and his house. Afterwards he found a job as a school bus driver. For his current job, he’s had no problem passing an annual medical test to retain his commercial driver’s license.
Hersey is among hundreds of Union Pacific employees who are fighting back with federal lawsuits after losing their jobs because of health issues. Former Union Pacific workers have filed at least 15 other federal lawsuits, and more than 200 other complaints are pending with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that are likely to turn into lawsuits. Seven other cases have been settled. More on this story here.