Drug & Alcohol Abuse

News & Analysis as of

Is An Employee Who Is Six Days out of Rehab “Disabled” Under the TCHRA?

The Texas Commission on Human Rights Act (TCHRA) provides that a “current condition of addiction” to alcohol, drugs, or controlled substances is not a covered “disability.” In Melendez v. Houston Independent School District...more

A License to Wed: Can You Be Denied a Marriage License?

In October of 2013, the Illinois couple of Colette Purifoy and John Morris were denied a marriage license because of John’s inability to consent. In 2009, John suffered permanent brain damage after unexpected complications...more

Who Cares About Reelection, Could You Fire the Toronto Mayor?

While many Toronto residents spend their time wincing at the infamous antics of their elected (and possibly soon-to-be reelected) mayor, Rob Ford, I’ve been imagining what a Minnesota employer would do if he was its employee...more

Drug Testing Index Shows Sharp Decline in Employee Drug Use

Illegal drug use among American workers has declined 74% in the 26 years since enactment of the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, according to Quest Diagnostics’ Drug Testing Index (DTI). The national laboratory network bases...more

RWAs Can Help Manage Alcoholic Employees

Although alcoholism is a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), employers may terminate employees who violate agreements to get sober. A U.S. court of appeals recently reaffirmed this principle, ruling in...more

Jury Decides Against Wrongful Death Verdict In Jackson Case

I talked earlier about the deposition of the children of Michael Jackson as part of the wrongful death action brought by their maternal grandmother, Katherine Jackson after the death of her son, pop star Michael Jackson. ...more

Last Chance Drug and Alcohol Use Policy Did Not Violate ADA

Some employers believe in giving employees a second chance. When the reason for taking action is related to drug or alcohol use, employers frequently require employees to agree to certain terms as a condition of returning to...more

Final Mental Health Parity Rules Released

The Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and the Treasury jointly issued a long-awaited final rule that implements the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008...more

Morphine Equivalent Dose: Ohio’s New Tool against Prescription Drug Abuse

The Ohio Boards of Medicine, Pharmacy, Dentistry, and Nursing have adopted new guidelines pertaining to prescribing opioid medication. The guidelines are part of Ohio’s continuing effort to combat and reduce prescription drug...more

Is Sec. Aldona Wos Challenging the Goliath - Like MCOs? Will She Win?

I attended a Women in Leadership conference the other day. The keynote speaker asked for us to come up with a one sentence mantra or mission statement that we would use to describe our purpose in life. I had never thought...more

Firing Alcoholic Employee for Relapse Is Not ADA Violation, Third Circuit Holds

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has ruled that a freight transportation company did not violate the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other antidiscrimination laws when it fired an alcoholic employee...more

Drug Court In Sarasota County

An epidemic of drug crimes has swept the nation in the last few decades. States have come to realize that repeated prosecution and incarceration is not the answer to their burgeoning drug crime rates, and Florida is no...more

Group Homes Can Move Forward With Their Lawsuit Challenging an Ordinance that has the Practical Effect of Prohibiting Group Homes...

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the district court erred in dismissing a lawsuit challenging a city ordinance that effectively banned group homes for alcoholics and drug users with an...more

Health Law Alert - August 2013: New York’s I-STOP Law Goes into Effect for Practitioners – August 27, 2013

A new law, the Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing (I-STOP) Law (§3343-a of the NYS Public Health Law) enacted one year ago, will go into effect on August 27, 2013, requiring practitioners who prescribe controlled...more

Potential Narcotics Abuse In Workers Compensation Treatment

Injured workers suffering from pain are often prescribed opioids, highly addictive medications that can lead to long-term dependencies. ...more

New, stricter consequences for boating under the influence in Washington State

Washington State boasts 3,200 miles of shoreline, 7,800 lakes, and 50,000 miles of rivers and streams. According to the Washington State Department of Ecology, Puget Sound has the highest per capita boat usage in the country....more

Florida Stays Tough On Prescription Drug Crime

Painkiller addiction is a huge problem across America, and Florida is home to a large percentage of those addicted....more

Eligibility For Ohio Drug Diversion Programs

Drug-related convictions account for a large percentage of criminal cases in Ohio....more

Tracking Down The Sources Of The Prescription Drug Epidemic

We hear the dramatic term epidemic so often that it can begin to sound banal, but the statistics on the abuse of prescription drugs are shocking....more

Operating Room Nurse Prohibited From Working After a Drug Rehab Stint Cannot Support ADA Failure to Hire Claim

In a case that underscores the inherent difficulty of implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in situations involving workplace safety issues, a federal district court in Connecticut determined that an...more

“Ten Times The Effort” To Manage Employee’s Absenteeism, Addictions: Dismissal Upheld

An employee with a long history of substance abuse issues and absenteeism was properly dismissed after he attended at work while impaired, an Ontario arbitrator has decided....more

The Growing Prescription Drug Crisis

The White House says that prescription drug abuse is the nation’s fastest growing drug problem, eclipsing even chronic issues with street drugs like cocaine. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH),...more

Dishonest Response on an Initial Application Can Come Back to Haunt an Employee

In a non-precedential opinion, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals recently upheld a hospital’s firing of a security guard who had admitted that he was a recovering drug addict. Because that firing was based upon the fact that...more

2012 Drug and Alcohol Inspection Strike Force Results in 287 Unsafe Bus and Truck Drivers from the Road

The U.S Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) announced the results of Agency’s annual drug and alcohol strike force sweep that took place from April 30 through May 11, 2012. The...more

Heavy Drinking is a High Risk Factor in Divorce

It is a perfectly putrid winter afternoon in Boston AND tomorrow is the first day of spring. Last weekend was Saint Patrick’s Day, so I decided I would write about the endlessly cheery subject of alcohol abuse....more

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