Disabled vet off the schedule
HOT SPRINGS (KATV) -
A Hot Springs veteran says he fought for his country and now he says he fighting for his job.
His opponent in this battle? The U.S. Postal Service.
When Mike Carter was hired at the post office in Malvern his supervisors knew he was a disabled veteran.
When he transferred back to his home town of Hot Springs he says he was told he would assume the same duties.
But in mid-November Carter was moved from window clerk to the loading dock.
He says he tried but couldn't do the work because of an injured shoulder.
"It seems to me the supervisor got mad...I went to the doctor on the 20th and he gave me a week off,” recalls Carter. “Well that was right during the holidays. And she accused me...well you just went to the doctor and got a note to have off for the holidays. And I said no ma'am, I can't afford to take off for the holidays. I need to work."
Carter provided a note in November from his VA doctor. It says he suffers from "a left shoulder rotator cuff and labrum tear." "He is unable to pull and push heavy loading carts repeatedly" and should "avoid working in the loading dock."
It wasn't enough. A second note in January reads "He may return to previous duties as a clerk, but should avoid the pushing and pulling on the loading dock."
It wasn't enough. A third note two weeks later explained he suffered a "left shoulder injury in 2001 as he fell from a helicopter with a heavy bag." Carter has lived with "chronic pain and limited range of motion" ever since.
It wasn't enough. So his doctor filled out a form provided by the U.S. Postal Service.
But Carter still has yet to be put back on the schedule.
"There was never any discussion about working a loading dock when I got hired or I would have brought up my concerns at that point,” says Carter. “I feel like I did what I was supposed to do. I got assigned to do a job I couldn't do, I went to my supervisor with those concerns and I've been put off the clock...I haven't been able to work since then."
We tried to contact Carter's supervisor Lynn Martinez and Post Master Danny Phillips.
What we got was a statement from San Antonio on January 31st that reads "The matter has been brought to the attention of the appropriate postal officials. Due to privacy regulations, the postal service is unable to discuss personnel matters further.
Mike Carter served in the Army from 1996 through 2005. He has a shoulder surgery planned for later this month.
Air date: February 8th, 2019