Tone Deaf: EEOC Says Disability Nonprofit Violated Rights of Deaf Living Specialist

How’s this for irony. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a Detroit nonprofit whose mission is to help persons with disabilities discriminated against a deaf employee.

The EEOC said it filed suit recently against Disability Network, a Detroit nonprofit that was formed to assist persons with disabilities. The commission charged that the network denied a deaf independent living specialist reasonable accommodations and then fired him.  For example, the nonprofit refused the employee his requests for TTY equipment, a video phone and the ability to use text messaging, and refused to provide him with alternate accommodations.

The EEOC is asking back pay and damages, including for emotional distress, on the fired employee’s behalf.

“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.”

Here’s more on the lawsuit.

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