EEOC: Employer’s Refusal to Hire Applicant Taking Medication Was Violation of the ADA

Considering the widespread use of prescription drugs in this country, if employer refused to hire anyone who is taking prescription medication the unemployment rate would be much higher.

Fortunately for persons who take prescription medication to treat a disability, the Americans With Disabilities Act is there to protect them.

According the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a South Dakota employer violated the ADA by refusing to hire a female applicant after she tested positive for a prescription medication during a routine drug test.

Kim Mullaney applied for and received an offer of employment for a position at Happy Jack’s Casino. After taking a routine drug test before starting work, Mullaney was told that Happy Jack’s Casino was withdrawing the job offer because the test had come back positive. Although Mullaney told Happy Jack’s Casino that the test reflected prescription drugs that she took for her disability, and even though she told them that she would provide additional information if needed, Happy Jack’s Casino refused to hire her.

“Employers cannot refuse to hire someone simply because she takes prescription drugs,” said John Hendrickson, the regional attorney for EEOC’s Chicago District Office. “Ms. Mullaney would have provided Happy Jack’s with all the information that it needed to assure itself that the drugs were lawfully prescribed. There is nothing happy about Happy Jack’s ignoring the information before its eyes. To the contrary, it is very, very sad.”

Read more about the lawsuit.

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