David W. Garland, a Member of the Firm in the Labor and Employment practice in the firm’s New York and Newark offices, was quoted in an article about how the EEOC is suing employers that use random alcohol tests.
According to the article, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) views alcohol tests as akin to medical exams, making them illegal under the Americans with Disabilities Act. On Sept. 30, the commission filed a lawsuit against a company in Pennsylvania after the company fired an employee based on a positive alcohol test result. The article suggest that the lawsuit is evidence of the EEOC’s willingness to go after companies that institute random alcohol testing, but does it represent a beefed-up stance?
“The current administration of the EEOC has made no secret about the stepped-up efforts when it comes to what it refers to as examples of ‘systemic discrimination,'” said Garland.
Garland said that random testing would likely be used as a preventative measure “in a safety sensitive position.”
Garland noted that the EEOC releases guidelines on random testing to ensure that employers know when it is permitted.