Michigan-based Downriver Community Services will pay $31,000 and provide equitable relief to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced.
According to EEOC’s suit, Downriver refused to extend additional unpaid leave to a peer counselor after surgery for a herniated disc, fired her based on her disability, and then refused to rehire her.
An employer may not deny reasonable accommodations to the known limitations of an employee with a disability unless the employer can demonstrate that an accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the operation of the business. Further, an employer cannot fire or refuse to rehire an employee because the employee has a disability. Any such conduct violates Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA).
EEOC sued Downriver (EEOC v. Downriver Community Services, Civil Action No. 4:15-cv-13060) in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process
In addition to the $31,000 in monetary relief, the three-year consent decree provides for training on the ADA and prohibits Downriver from denying a reasonable accommodation or terminating or refusing to rehire an employee on the basis of disability.
Downriver is headquartered in New Haven, Mich. It provides grant-funded health services in southeastern Michigan.