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On August 24th, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona against a car dealership (Bell Leasing, Inc.), alleging that its policy for drug testing did not possess exceptions for qualified individuals with disabilities.

The EEOC claims that the employer made a job offer to an applicant. However, when she tested positive for a prohibited substance, the job offer was immediately rescinded by the employer.

The EEOC alleges that the positive test appeared as a result of the applicant’s use of a prescription drug given under doctor’s orders. However, since the employer refuses to consider her medical evidence, the commission is seeking monetary and punitive damages, injunctive relief, as well as Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) training.

In a press release, the EEOC emphasized that despite the fact that employers are legally allowed to perform drug testing, they must accommodate qualified persons with disabilities. If an applicant fails a test due to the legal usage of a prescription drug and he or she demonstrates that essential functions of the job will not be hindered by the use of the prescribed drug, the employer must accommodate the employee’s drug use.

While the conclusion of this trial awaits, this case serves as an indication of the problems the EEOC considers imperative when examining employer’s drug testing.

If you failed to obtain employment after failing a drug test for a drug that is prescribed to you by a doctor, contact Pines Federal ​ and schedule a case evaluation with our experienced and skilled federal employment law attorney.

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Eric L. Pines is a nationally recognized federal employment lawyer, mediator, and attorney business coach. He represents federal employees and acts as in-house counsel for over fifty thousand federal employees through his work as a federal employee labor union representative.

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