EEOC: Temporary Agency Violated ADA By Turning Down Recovering Drug Addict

A just-filed lawsuit by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is a cautionary tale for employers in how to deal with job applicants recovering from drug addiction.

In this suit under the Americans With Disabilities Act, the EEOC is claiming that a Baltimore-based temporary staffing agency, Randstad, US, LP illegally refused to refer an applicant for a vacant laborer job with one of its clients because she was in a medically supervised methadone treatment program.

The applicant, a woman named April Cox, has not used illegal drugs since enrolling in the program in 2011, the EEOC said.

When Cox applied for the vacancy, Randstad’s site manager told Cox she had enough experience to advance to the next part of the hiring process and requested that Cox provide a urine sample for a pre-employment drug.

However, EEOC charges, when Cox disclosed that she was in a medically supervised methadone treatment program, the site manager took back the cup for the urine test and said, “I’m sure we don’t hire people on methadone, but I will contact my supervisor.”  Even though Cox repeatedly called back and informed the site manager that she did not have any medical restrictions from performing the laborer job, Randstad told Cox it would not hire her because she used methadone, EEOC says.

Read more about the lawsuit here.

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