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Possible Discriminiation???? Tennessee

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  • Possible Discriminiation???? Tennessee

    I was fired last week from my job, and when I kept asking why they finally told me--it's because they "found out" that I'm a member of NA (Narcotics Anonymous). Which I told them that it was no where on my application or asked during my interview processes if I had a substance abuse history, only if I could pass a drug test--which I passed my initial screening & within the 5 1/2 months I was there was given 3 more--they told me that I was pulled for a "random" for those--and I passed each and every one of them. They are refusing to give me a separation notice. I guess my questions are: #1--can they fire me for belonging to NA even though I passed 4 drug tests in less than 6 months & #2--are they required by law to give me a separation notice?

    I'm sorry--I honestly don't know--I've never been fired from a job before. I just don't want them to do this to someone else because being fired for that reason--if I didn't have the support system that I do have in place I honestly don't know what I would've done.

    Thanks for any advice.

  • #2
    How many employees does your employer have - need at least 15 to file
    a discrimination complaint with the EEOC.

    What industry do you work in (not actual name of employer) & what are your
    job duties.

    This is what the ADA says - Current illegal users of drugs are not "individuals with disabilities" under the ADA. However, persons addicted to drugs, but who are no longer using drugs illegally and are receiving treatment for drug addiction or who have been rehabilitated successfully, are protected by the ADA from discrimination on the basis of past drug addiction. However, an employer may refuse to hire an individual with a history of illegal drug use if the employer can demonstrate that the individual poses a "direct threat" to health or safety because of the high probability that s/he would return to the illegal drug use. Employment can be denied on a current positive drug test.

    TN requires a separation notices for the purpose of filing for state unemployment benefits. This notice is to be given at time of separation and is to list both the reason for termination and if any severance pay was given.
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

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    • #3
      Well, yes, they can fire you because they obviously did. As Betty points out though, it's a clear violation of the ADA. I suggest you contact the EEOC and file a complaint.

      You may want to consult with an employment law attorney first however. Your attorney may well suggest he/she approach the company directly on your behalf and try to settle this in your favor in exchange for your waiving your rights to pursue a claim with the EEOC. For example, an attorney might request reinstatement to your job, full back pay, and perhaps an additional financial settlement for you for your "pain and suffering" because of the company's actions.

      You have 180 days to file a complaint with the EEOC (from the date you were terminated) so assuming you were recently fired, you've got some time to decide how you wish to proceed and some time for an attorney to do some negotiating on your behalf.