In A.D.P. v. ExxonMobil Research & Engineering Co., the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division reversed in part the lower court’s ruling granting summary judgment by holding that ExxonMobil applied a facially discriminatory drug and alcohol policy against its employee based on her disability of alcoholism. The employer’s policy’s requirements of total abstinence and a minimum of two years of random testing for only those employees who were identified as alcoholics, were found to demonstrate hostility toward members of the employee’s class. The Appellate Division concluded that the employee’s employment was terminated not because of her job performance but solely because of her disability. This decision underscores the imperative that employers must carefully draft and consistently apply workplace alcohol and drug policies. Although employers are permitted under the law to maintain an alcohol- and drug-free workplace, employers cannot adopt a one-size-fits-all policy. To avoid liability, employers must remember to perform individual assessments, reasonably accommodate their alcohol- or drug-disabled employees who are otherwise qualified, and refrain from adverse actions unless they are based on legitimate, non-discriminatory reasons.

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