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Detroit disability nonprofit sued for workplace discrimination

In a perfect viewpoint of employment, no one is discriminated for any reason. Whether it is race, age, sex or different factors, no one should be terminated or prevented from getting a job because of factors that have nothing to do with the individual's ability to adequately perform their duties. Unfortunately, this viewpoint is sometimes shattered by cases in which individuals are indeed prevented from working because of such factors. Such is the case of a recent workplace discrimination incident in Detroit.

In a case that is ripe with irony, Detroit nonprofit Disability Network - an organization with a goal of assisting people with disabilities -- is being sued by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on accusations of disability discrimination. According to the EEOC, Disability Network did not adequately provide a reasonable working environment for a deaf employee and then later fired the man. The nonprofit allegedly denied the man's requests for a video phone, TTY equipment and text messaging and did not provide him with alternate equipment. The suit seeks compensations, including compensatory damages for emotional distress and back pay, and punitive damages.

The alleged actions of Disability Network violate the Americans with Disabilities Act which was signed into law in 1990. The law is meant to guarantee that individuals with disabilities are offered the same opportunities as any other individual, including employment opportunities. In this case, the termination of the deaf man after he was denied a reasonable environment in which to work, if true, violates the law.

No individual with a disability should be denied any type of opportunity. In any case of this unfortunate practice, proper legal representation can more completely gather the facts of the incident and hopefully bring about a just outcome.

Source:, "Disability Network Sued by EEOC for Disability Discrimination," June 6, 2014

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