Deaf Woman Suing Former Employer For Not Providing Sign Language Interpreter

ROSEVILLE (CBS13) – A local nonprofit dedicated to helping people with special needs is being sued for allegedly discriminating against a former employee with disabilities.

The lawsuit says Placer ARC violated federal law when it failed to provide reasonable accommodations to a deaf employee.

Homeyra Kazerounian is deaf and uses sign language to communicate. And according to a lawsuit, her supervisors failed to provide an interpreter for her during daily staff meetings and forced her to speak only in English.

“Literally she doesn’t speak anything. She uses American Sign Language,” said David Offen-Brown, Kazerounian’s attorney.

Kazarounian started working at Placer ARC’s Auburn office in 2005 was always given an interpreter during mandatory staff meetings, according to the federal lawsuit. But when she transferred to Roseville three years later, her attorneys says that all changed.

“They required her to communicate by writing notes,” said Offen-Brown.

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