Q&A: Alcohol, drugs and the ADA.


Q. Are alcoholics covered by the ADA?

A. Yes. An alcoholic is a person with a disability and is protected by the ADA if he or she is qualified to perform the essential functions of the job. An employer may be required to provide an accommodation to an alcoholic, such as time off for AA meetings. However, an employer can discipline, discharge or deny employment to an alcoholic whose use of alcohol adversely affects job performance or conduct. An employer also may prohibit the use of alcohol in the workplace and can require that employees not be under the influence of alcohol.

Q. Are applicants or employees who are currently illegally using drugs covered by the ADA?

A. No. Individuals who currently engage in the illegal use of drugs are specifically excluded from the definition of a "qualified individual with a disability"...

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