The EEOC must be licking its chops, we posted on June 6th, since it achieved a PR coup – a new lawsuit against a Detroit nonprofit which helps people with disabilities (and appropriately named “Disability Network”) for allegedly violating the ADA by discriminating against a deaf employee.
This was “easy pickins” alright. As the EEOC said “The irony in this case is incredible. 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 are some trenchant reader comments.
Richard N. Grey, an attorney in the LA area:
Michael Farrell, a management consultant in the LA area:
“I’ve heard this refrain so many times in so many fields of business. “How can we be discriminating against Vets, we’re a defense contractor and we’re all Veterans here!” Or, “how can she be discriminating against women, she’s a woman!” and so on…
We need to encourage leaders to think outside the box of their own self-perception, not to try and see situations from the point of view of the employee, but from the point of view of regulators or the old archetypal “reasonable man or woman” as to the impacts of their actions. And, we need to get people in general to think about the results of their actions as opposed to their own intentions.”
Kyle Hulce, HR expert, Newman Lakes, WA:
“The issue I am seeing with this article though is the lack of the reasoning on the side of the organization for the termination; naturally, that is not something they can state on record with any media platform. It may even be very plausible that they are firing the person for not wanting to offer reasonable accommodation.
However, if an employer potentially has a reasonable justification for terminating an employee that is unrelated to the allegations being brought against them why is that justification treated as illegitimate instead of a valid reason? There should be a larger amount of responsibility placed on individuals for providing proof of these allegations rather than assuming one person has more integrity than an organization with an otherwise untainted record.
On a cursory inspection of the available sources on the internet, derogatory information for the organization did not exist before now.”
Karen Reedy, HR coordinator, Detroit area:
“That was my first thought too. After attending a Disability Network summit in my own Michigan county, it was loudly and specifically said that the ADA does not prevent you from firing an employee with a disability.
What was the performance record of the individual in question and is this just a sensationalist attempt at grabbing headlines in the name of irony and press? Disappointed at the lack of “meat” in this story.”