In a series of guidance issued since May 5, 2020 (some of which was withdrawn, revised, and reissued), the U.S.
Articles Discussing Direct Threat Under The ADA
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals refused to dismiss a medical marijuana-using applicant’s disability discrimination claim because he did not state that he actually used marijuana at the time of his interview — even though he provided a copy of his medical marijuana card – and was not subjected to a drug test. Kamakeeaina v. Armstrong Produce, Ltd., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50863 (9th Cir. March 22, 2019).
The EEOC entered into a Consent Decree on November 15, 2016, settling a case alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act for $1.6 million. The EEOC claimed that the employer took adverse actions against applicants and employees with actual or perceived disabilities on the basis that the employer believed the individuals posed safety threats. However, according to EEOC, those actions were taken without actually assessing the individual’s ability to perform the required tasks. One of the plaintiffs, for example, was not hired after the employer learned that she took medication for a traumatic brain injury. Click here to read the full article.
An employer’s decision to bypass an employee for a position based on the employee’s use of opioids was not enough to prove the employee’s disability discrimination claim, according to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. Ferrari v. Ford Motor Company, Case No. 15-1479 (6th Cir. June 23, 2016). The Court affirmed summary judgment in favor of the employer on the employee’s disability discrimination claims, as well as his Family and Medical Leave Act retaliation claim.
A South Carolina company that hauls gasoline, diesel fuel and ethanol throughout the country will face an Americans with Disabilities Act suit brought by a rejected DOT driver applicant with a sleep disorder for which he was prescribed an amphetamine (Dexedrine), the U.S. Court of Appeals in Richmond has decided, reversing a lower’s court’s dismissal of John Lisotto’s lawsuit. Lisotto v. New Prime, Inc., 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 8011 (4th Cir., No. 15-1273, decided May 3, 2016) (not officially reported).
An employee terminated immediately upon his return from medical leave for alcohol rehabilitation presented sufficient evidence of discrimination under the Family and Medical Leave Act, Americans with Disabilities Act and Ohio state law to present his case to a jury, according to a federal court in Ohio. The employer claimed that the employee had been terminated for misappropriating company goods, but e-mail exchanges between several supervisors discussing Plaintiff’s alcoholism, as well as the timing of his termination, could show pretext. Lankford v. Reladyne, LLC, 32 AD Cases 959 (S.D. Ohio Nov. 19, 2015).
A deaf employee who tested positive for hydrocodone – but could not produce a prescription for the drug – was not discriminated against due to his disability when his employer fired him. Phillips v. PPG Industries, Inc., Case No. 5:14-CV-1274 (N.D. Alabama Nov. 24, 2015).
In the last three years, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed numerous lawsuits against employers who take adverse actions against applicants and employees who use prescription medications. In accordance with that trend, EEOC filed suit on November 3, 2015 against an employer who purportedly refused to hire a recovering drug addict using methadone, alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). EEOC v. Randstad, US, LP, 1:15-cv-03354 (D. MD. Nov. 3, 2015).
A depressed employee who was fired for threatening to kill his co-workers was not a qualified individual entitled to protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act, as the employee could not perform essential job functions, with or without an accommodation, a federal appeals court in San Francisco has ruled, affirming judgment in favor of the employer. Mayo v. PCC Structurals, Inc., No. 13-35643 (9th Cir. July 28, 2015). The Ninth Circuit has jurisdiction over Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington.