One hand boxer fails TSA test

July 27, 2011 2:22:12 PM PDT
Boxer with one hand, Michael Constantino, is being stopped from working at the TSA allegedly due to his disability.

"I'm pretty good, not going to say unstoppable but I was ok, could handle myself," Michael Constantino said.

Michael Costantino was once praised for his moves in the ring at the Golden Gloves, known as the fighter who was born without a right hand. Something this former amateur boxer admits he never even thinks about is the reason why he didn't get a job with the TSA. He feels he was discriminated against because of his disability.

"Everyone faces it in their whole life but I've definitely faced it, a lot of people like to assume things," Costantino said.

The 32 year-old applied for a job as a Transportation Safety Officer about a year and a half ago. He passed an online exam, cleared a background check and proudly says, aced an in-person interview.

The final hurdle was a physical exam- the basics. The whole time, he said, no one ever asked him about his hand.

But then Michael received this letter saying his medical exam "resulted in medical disqualification". It said that Michael "could not perform the TSO job safely, effectively and efficiently" and could not do the necessary task. But there was one big problem.

"They said I wasn't capable of opening luggage, zippers, of performing a pat down, everything they stated in the letter, I never had to do during the test," Constantino said.

The TSA wouldn't comment on Micheal's case but points out that the Congress has given the agency leeway to create its own physical qualifications.

"I'm fighting for his job back, fighting for any back pay he lost and fighting for them not to do this to anybody else with a disability in the future," said Constantino's attorney, Jonathan Bell.