Ada accommodating people with drug problems

Further, employers can prohibit the use of illegal drugs or the use of alcohol in the workplace. Circuit City, Inc., a US Court of Appeal found for the employer when it terminated a manager who admitted to using illegal drugs, failed to show for work due to the drug use, and came to work under the influence.Illegal drug users are not just those who use illicit drugs – the exclusion pertains to those who take prescription drugs unlawfully as well.The employee argued that his alcoholism resulted in his frequently being late to work.

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Employers are permitted to ensure that employees are no longer using illegal drugs by conducting drug tests and obtaining information from treatment programs.

If an employee is participating in a supervised drug rehab program, such as being enrolled at a drug treatment center, is currently on a methadone maintenance program, or has completed drug treatment, they are protected from discrimination under the ADA.

The ADA also protects people who are erroneously targeted as drug abusers during workplace drug testing.

To be protected under the ADA, alcoholics must be at a level of addiction in which the alcoholism impairs one or more major life functions, such as caring for one’s self.

In the recent second circuit decision of Vandenbroek v.

PSEG Power, the US Court of Appeal upheld summary judgment in favor of the employer, finding that terminating an alcoholic employee was not a violation of the ADA.

For instance, employees may need time off to attend outpatient treatment, counseling sessions, or 12-step meetings.

Some of these requirements may be permanent to avoid relapse.

Employers must evaluate both state and federal laws when enacting company policies and procedures.

Under the ADA, employers must balance enforcing reasonable workplace safety and behavioral rules with making reasonable accommodations for employees with drug and alcohol problems.

Similarly, current employees can only be questioned about such issues if it is job related or is required by business necessity.

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