Can I Be Fired for Taking Prescription Drugs?
On February 17, a Beckville man filed a lawsuit against his former employer, Nabors Completion & Production Services Co., alleging discrimination and wrongful termination. The employee was fired after an accident on the job that led to his drug testing, as is the company’s standard procedure in the event of an accident. The test results showed the presence of amphetamine in the worker’s blood.
Amphetamine is a schedule II drug in the United States, meaning that it has a high potential for abuse but also a recognized medical use. The worker claims that he notified his employer that he was taking a prescription medication for weight loss, and provided documentation from his healthcare practitioner making it clear that he was fit to work.
According to the employee, the doctor then wrote to the company to explain that the presence of amphetamine on the test results was due to the weight loss medication. Despite this, the company referred the employee to a substance abuse program and fired him shortly after.
The Americans with Disabilities Act requires that employers reasonably accommodate an employee’s use of prescription medication to treat a disability, and such use should not be prohibited by a company’s drug testing policy. The employee, should he win his discrimination case, could be entitled to damages including compensation for lost wages, benefits and employment opportunities, anguish and loss of enjoyment of life.
Atkerson Law – Dallas Employment Attorney