Congress drafted the ADA broadly to provide disabled Americans the opportunity for gainful employment. Congress recognized that some disabilities, by their nature, are special and pose safety risks. Drug and alcohol addiction are two such disabilities.
The ADA requires employers to walk a fine line between enforcing reasonableand behavioral rules and making accommodations for those who are addicted to drugs or alcohol.
As a general rule, employers are allowed to enforce reasonable workplace rules against coming to work under the influence and against disruptive behavior, even if that behavior may be associated with an addiction to drugs or alcohol. That is, employers can punish inappropriate behavior and require that employees show up clean and sober.
The waters get murkier, however, when workers addicted to drugs or alcohol want to clean up their act. In some circumstances, you may be required to a...(register to read more)