VANCOUVER, Wash. (CN) – The Southwest Washington Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing fired its executive director because its members wanted a leader “who was culturally deaf rather than merely hard of hearing,” David Viers claims in Clark County Superior Court.
After serving as executive director for two years, Viers claims he was fired and excluded from the center “because of the presence of a disability perceived to not be severe enough and complete enough to reflect ‘the new direction and goals'” established by the nonprofit’s board members, “many of whom are culturally deaf.”
“Defendants’ termination of plaintiff because he suffered from a disability, the nature and characteristics of which were deemed to be less severe and therefore less desirable, amounted to unlawful discrimination in violation of Washington law and Washington public policy,” Viers claims.
He adds that his replacement is culturally deaf.
Viers sued the center and its board members for disability discrimination and emotional distress. He is represented by Gregory Ferguson.