Employers: don’t fire employees for taking legally prescribed meds

Employers should be familiar with the requirements of ADA, at least to the extent that they don’t do what one employer allegedly did. The EEOC announced that it settled for $750,000 a 2009 ADA case against an employer which apparently never even heard of the ADA.

The defendant auto parts company in Tennessee drug tested all of its plant employees for 12 substances, including 7 legally prescribed drugs. Incredibly, the lawsuit alleged that the company:

(1) required the employees who tested positive for the legally prescribed medications to disclose the medical conditions for which they were taking these medications;

(2) made it a condition of continued employment that the employees stop taking their prescription medications, even without any evidence that the medications were affecting their job performances;

(3) suspended employees until they stopped taking their prescription medications;

(4) fired those employees who were unable to perform their job duties without the benefit of their prescription medications; and.

(5) conducted the drug tests in a way that the identities of those employees who tested positive were disclosed to the rest of the employees,

Employers who think that any one of these acts is OK, should read the ADA or consult counsel – quickly!

Read more at  Employment Discrimination Report of Fox Rothschild

By Richard B. Cohen


Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not of The HR Gazette or its team members.
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