Managing Company Response to a Discrimination Investigation

Be careful when drafting your responses to an investigation. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision underscored this fact in Hernandez v. Hughes Missile Systems Company. A former employee was denied application for re-employment. He tested positive for drugs and had an alcohol problem while employed. He was allowed to resign in lieu of termination. The former employee reapplied for his old job three years later, but was ineligible for rehire because of the company’s policy that prohibited rehiring terminated employees. The court ruled that the rejection was unlawful and the policy invalid when applied to recovered drug or alcohol abusers. Recovered drug and alcohol abusers are protected by the ADA.

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