Employer Should Not Reject Applicant For Taking Medication to Treat Disability

            The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently reached a settlement with M.G. Oil Company d/b/a Happy Jack’s Casino after the EEOC filed a lawsuit in which it claimed that Happy Jack’s discriminated against an employee because of her disability.  The EEOC’s lawsuit alleged that the prospective employee suffered from a neck and back impairment that caused substantial limitations in her lifting, bending, performing manual tasks, sitting, and sleeping.  Happy Jacks offered the prospective an employee a job that was contingent on her successfully completing a drug test.  The prospective employee had a prescription for hydrocodone to treat pain due to her disability, but she was not given an opportunity to provide information regarding her disability or prescription related to the company’s drug testing.  After her non-negative drug test, Happy Jacks informed the prospective employee that it was withdrawing its offer of employment.  After receiving this notice, the prospective employee asked Happy Jacks to reconsider because the medication was related to the lawful use of her taking a prescribed medication for her disability.  Despite this request, Happy Jacks still refused to hire her.  In addition, the EEOC’s Complaint alleged that Happy Jacks had an unlawful policy that required all employees to report all prescription and nonprescription drugs that they take, regardless of their relation to their job duties.  See EEOC v. M.G. Oil Company d/b/a Happy Jack's, 4:16-cv-04131-KES (D.S.D.).

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