A Detroit nonprofit formed to assist people with disabilities faces EEOC charges that it violated the ADA by discriminating against a deaf worker.
According to the EEOC’s suit, Disability Network denied a deaf independent living specialist reasonable accommodations and then fired him. The lawsuit alleges that the nonprofit refused the employee’s requests to use a TTY-equipped phone and text messages to communicate. Then, the suit says, it refused to consider alternative reasonable accommodations.
“The irony in this case is incredible,” said EEOC Trial Attorney Nedra Campbell. “Disability Network was formed to help and protect people with disabilities—and so was the ADA, under which we now have to sue them for violating their mandate and betraying an employee.”
The suit, filed in federal court in Michigan, seeks back pay for the employee, compensatory damages for emotional distress, as well as punitive damages.