With America in the throes of a prescription drug crisis, employers face the liability for failing to accommodate an employee’s use of legally prescribed medications. In Georgia, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently sued a Georgia medical center for disability discrimination after it fired a physician for revealing that he was treating neurological and musculoskeletal problems with legally prescribed narcotics. In order to maintain a safe workplace and lawfully test for prescribed drugs, employers should consider the following:
* Blanket prohibitions are illegal;
* Drug testing programs can include legally prescribed drugs;
* It is permissible to include prescription drugs in drug-free workplace policies;
* Require certification after a positive test that explains possible effects of prescribed medications;
* Employers have no obligation to allow the use of medical marijuana.