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Employer's "One-Strike" Drug Policy Did Not Discriminate Against Recovered Addict

This report relates to 1 case(s)

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    Lopez v. Pacific Maritime Association, 636 F.3d 1197 (2011) (0 other reports)

Author: Michael T. Borruso

In Lopez v. Pacific Maritime Association, +636 F.3d 1197 (9th Cir. 2011), the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals addressed whether an employer's "one-strike" rule, which permanently barred anyone who tested positive for drugs from ever working for it, discriminated against rehabilitated drug addicts in violation of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and California's Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA).

Under Sections 12112(a) and 12114(b)(1) of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which the California legislature has incorporated by reference into its FEHA, employers may not discriminate against recovered drug addicts who no longer take illegal drugs. 42 USCS §§ 12112(a) and 12114(b)(1); Cal. Gov't Code § 12926(l).

In this case, the court held that the Pacific Maritime Association was within its rights in applying its one-strike rule to reject Lopez's job application. Lopez had been a drug addict - unbeknownst to the association - when he had several years earlier applied for a job and failed a drug test.