Terminating an Addicted Employee

Question: “We have an employee who is a chronic prescription drug abuser. He has not been performing at work but every time we try to terminate him for cause, he immediately enters a drug rehabilitation program in order to avoid termination under the ADA, claiming that he has a disability. Does the ADA require that we keep this under-performing employee on our payroll just because he is enrolled in a drug rehabilitation program?

Answer: No, it does not. Although an employee’s status as an alcoholic or a recovering drug addict may merit protection under the ADA in certain circumstances, including when the employee is in rehabilitation and is no longer using, an employee or job applicant is not “a qualified individual with a disability” if he or she is “currently engaging in the illegal use of drugs.”

For a detailed explanation go to: http://www.hreonline.com/HRE/view/story.jhtml?id=534355361

Source: Human Resource Executive – May 22, 2013