The EEOC has filed suit against an Arkansas trucking company for discrimination against drivers who suffer from alcoholism. Under the ADA, alcoholism is a disability just the same as blindness or paralysis. Thus, alcoholics should be given comparable accommodations to ameliorate their disability.
An employee of the trucking company, Old Dominion Freight Line, Inc, had worked for the company for five years without incident, but had recently admitted to his employer that he believes he has a substance abuse problem. The Arkansas-based trucking company told the employee that he would never be returned to a driving position, even after he completed a treatment program.
While the company contends that highway safety is a legitimate concern, the EEOC claims that employers should be able to comply with the ADA without sidelining recovered drivers. If the EEOC is correct, this means that the trucking company will be liable for any damages that may occur from a driver’s potential relapse.
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