EEOC: Employer Violated ADA by Insisting on Drug Screen and Not Considering Alternatives

An employer’s alleged failure to accommodate a job applicant’s need for another drug screening test in place of a urinalysis has landed it opposite the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in a federal district court.

In a lawsuit filed on Sept. 17, the EEOC alleges that Xerox State Healthcare LLC, violated the Americans With Disabilities Act when it failed to provide a disabled applicant with a reasonable accommodation which would have allowed her to complete the company’s required pre-employment drug screening.

Xerox had made a conditional offer of employment to the applicant contingent on her passing a pre-employment drug screen. However, due to her end-stage renal disease, she could not provide a urine sample. Instead, she told Xerox and the company’s laboratory that her treatment center would perform a drug test in place of the urine sample. But Xerox refused her request and didn’t hire her, the EEOC charged.

“A company’s applicants are covered by the ADA just as employees are,” said Lynette A. Barnes, regional attorney for EEOC’s Charlotte District Office. “When a company is aware that a qualified applicant needs a reasonable accommodation in order to complete an aspect of the hiring process, the company must grant that request unless it poses an undue hardship for the company.”

Read more about the lawsuit.

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