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EEOC Accuses United Insurance of Disability Discrimination

August 18, 2011 Leave a comment

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed suit against insurer United Insurance Co. of America, accusing it of disability discrimination for withdrawing a job offer to a recovering drug addict in a methadone treatment program.

According to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Raleigh, N.C., in Equal Employment Opportunity Commission vs. United Insurance Co. of America, Craig Burns applied for a job as an insurance agent and representative at the Raleigh office of Chicago-based United Insurance, a Unitrin Inc. unit that provides life and accident and health insurance.

The insurer extended a job offer, conditional on his passing a drug test.

Mr. Burns is a recovering drug addict who has been enrolled in a methadone treatment program since at least 2004, according to the lawsuit.

His drug test showed the presence of methadone in his system. When United Insurance asked for a copy of his methadone prescription, he provided a letter from his treatment provider explaining his participation in the program. United then withdrew its job offer, according to the lawsuit.

Violation of ADA

The suit filed Tuesday alleges that the job withdrawal was due to Mr. Burns’ disability and violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“The effect of the practices complained of…has been to deprive (Mr.) Burns of equal employment opportunities and otherwise adversely affect his employment status because of his disability,” according to the EEOC suit, which seeks back pay, compensation, punitive damages and injunctive relief.

A Unitrin spokeswoman said the company does not comment on ongoing litigation.

Article courtesy of www.businessinsurance.com.

A Free Resource and Help-Line for Creating a Drug-Free Workplace

February 15, 2011 Leave a comment

SAMSHA has created a ton of great tools for developing drug testing programs, including their free Hotline. To learn more, go to http://workplace.samhsa.gov/HelpLine/Helpline.html.

Categories: Drug Testing