DETROIT (Legal Newsline) — Downriver Community Services of Detroit will pay $31,000 and provide equitable relief due to allegations it refused to extend an employee leave after surgery, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced.

The disability discrimination lawsuit alleges that after a peer counselor had surgery for a herniated disc, Downriver refused to give her additional unpaid leave. The company then allegedly fired her based on her disability and refused to rehire her.

Title I of the Americans With Disabilities Act prohibits employers from denying reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities. The law also states that the company cannot fire or refuse to hire an employee due to disability.

"The goal of [Title I of] the Americans with Disabilities Act is to provide equal employment opportunity for people with disabilities," said EEOC trial attorney Dale Price. "Employers must make decisions based on the law and an employee's ability to do the job, not on stereotypes and assumptions."

The three-year consent decree brought in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan will force Downriver to provide ADA training to managers and prohibits the company from violating the ADA in the future.

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