Q. We suspect some employees come to work drunk. Are workplace alcohol tests lawful under the ADA?
A. The answer to your question depends on the context in which the testing occurs. The EEOC has taken the position that alcohol tests are “medical examinations” under the ADA, the use of which is limited by the statute.
Specifically, at the pre-offer stage of employment, alcohol tests are prohibited. After an employment offer has been extended, alcohol tests are permissible if administered to all individuals in the same job category.
During employment, an alcohol test must be “job related and consistent with business necessity” to be lawful.
A separate question is whether an employer violates the
Thus, according to even the EEOC, “if the results of an alcohol test demonstrate that an employee used or was under the influence of alcohol at the workplace, the employer may discipline the employee as it does all others that violate its substance use policies, regardless of whether the employee has alcoholism and is disabled under the