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Press Release 08-24-2022

EEOC Sues Salvation Army for Disability Discrimination

Ann Arbor Thrift Store Chastised Cashier for Disability-Related Appearance and Then Fired Him Because of His Disability, Federal Agency Charges

DETROIT – Global charitable organization The Salvation Army violated federal law at its Ann Arbor, Michigan thrift store when it fired a cashier because of his mental and physical disa­bilities, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, an employment coordinator from Michigan Ability Partners attended the employee’s initial interview and advised the store manager of the emp­loyee’s disabilities. The employee was hired with the understanding that he would have a job coach present during his 90-day probationary period.

A month and a half after the employee successfully completed his probationary period, the store manager who hired him was replaced by a new manager. The new manager immedi­ately demonstrated animus towards the employee, which included chastising him for disability-related involuntary movements, refusing to allow additional job coaching, and disciplining him for minor mistakes. Soon after new cashiers were hired, the manager terminated the employee.

Such alleged conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits disability discrimination. The EEOC filed suit (Case No. 2:22-cv-11973 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settle­ment through its conciliation process. The EEOC is seeking back pay, front pay, compensatory damages and punitive damages for the employee, as well as injunctive relief to prevent future discrimination.

"This employee was fully capable of continuing to work as a cashier, as he had done successfully for months before a new manager was assigned to the store,” said Miles Uhlar, trial attorney for the Detroit Field Office. “Mistreating or terminating an employee with a disability because he or she looks differently runs afoul of the ADA. The EEOC will continue to stand up to employers who engage in such behavior.”

For more information on disability discrimination, please visit

The Detroit Field Office is part of the Indianapolis District Office, which oversees Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky and parts of Ohio.

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at  Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.