Happy Jack’s Casino sued for drug test discrimination
Refusing to hire a person with chronic pain because they can’t pass a drug test is illegal, according to a lawsuit filed against the owners of Happy Jack’s Casino in Sioux Falls.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a complaint against M.G. Oil on Wednesday that says the company pulled back its employment offer for a woman named Kim Mullaney when she tested positive for hydrocodone.
Mullaney has a recognized disability and a valid prescription for the medication, the EEOC complaint said.
Because M.G. Oil didn’t offer Mullaney a chance to offer proof that the drugs were prescribed by a doctor for a medically-recognized condition, the company violated the Americans With Disabilities Act.
Blanket drug-testing rules that cover legally-prescribed medications do not comport with the law, the complaint says.
“Defendant M.G. Oil Company has a written policy requiring employees to disclose prescription and non-prescription drugs without consideration of whether the inquiry is job related and consistent with business necessity, in violation of the ADA,” the complaint says.
The EEOC’s regional attorney for Chicago’s District Office said in a news release that the company’s practice is a clear breach of the law, and that employers cannot deny jobs to people who take lawfully-prescribed medication.
“There is nothing happy about Happy Jack’s ignoring the information before its eyes. To the contrary, it is very, very sad,” Hendrickson said
The EEOC attempted to resolve the matter with M.G. Oil during its 2015 investigation of Mullaney’s initial complaint, but was “unable to secure” an agreement with the company.
An email to M.G. Oil was not immediately returned.