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February 4 2016

Employee Termination Upheld Due To Failure To Comply With Prescription Medication Policy

A federal court in Utah upheld the termination of an employee who did not disclose his use of prescription medication in accordance with his employer's policy.
This case highlights the importance of having a written policy requiring “safety-sensitive” employees to report the use of prescription medications that may impair the ability to perform their job duties safely - before reporting to work while using such medications and before being selected for drug testing.
Such reporting triggers an employer's obligation to engage in the “interactive dialogue” required by the ADA to determine potential reasonable accommodation. In this case, it was undisputed that the employee was aware of the policy and that he did not comply with it.
Employers must be careful not to apply such policies to non-safety-sensitive employees because there is no business justification to do so.