One byproduct of the opioid epidemic is the number of people who are in treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD) and who are also employed or seeking employment in this state. For that group of people, the laws that prohibit disability discrimination offer certain substantial protections, which means that, if you’ve been denied employment or suffered workplace punishment because of your treatment, you may be able, with the help of a knowledgeable New Jersey disability discrimination lawyer, to win a lawsuit under federal and/or state anti-discrimination laws.
The U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division reaffirmed and highlighted this aspect of disability discrimination law recently. The division’s new guidance document, entitled “The Americans with Disabilities Act and the Opioid Crisis: Combating Discrimination Against People in Treatment or Recovery,” highlight various ways that employers may run afoul of laws barring disability discrimination, and what those employees can do about it.
The guidance document reaffirmed that OUD is considered to be people with a disability under federal law. The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), therefore, bars discrimination against most people with OUD who are not currently using. That includes people taking drugs (like methadone) that a doctor prescribed for them as part of their OUD treatment.