ADA & Alcoholics and Drug Addicts
Confused about how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
applies to alcoholics and former drug addicts? In short, the ADA
treats these employees as disabled individuals. As a result, you
may not discriminate against them and may have to provide them
with accommodations. However, the law does not require that you
apply different performance standards to these individuals or
tolerate work rule violations.
Past drug addicts also are protected under the ADA and may not
be discriminated against as long as they are not currently using
drugs illegally and are either receiving treatment or have been
rehabilitated successfully. Employees and applicants who "currently
are engaging in the illegal use of drugs" are not protected
under the ADA, and you may terminate or not hire such people based
on their current drug use.