The ADA: Alcohol and Drug Abuse in the Workplace


By Danna McKitrick



Alcohol and drug abuse are recurrent problems in the workplace, costing the economy billions of dollars annually in lost production, lost wages, medical expense and injury. Thus employers have an economic selfinterest in confronting alcohol and drug abuse. In doing so, those with 15 or more employees risk incurring substantial liability for discrimination if they fail to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).

The ADA protects job applicants and employees with drug and alcohol problems against discrimination in employment if they are qualified individuals with a disability. A “qualified individual with a disability” is an individual with a disability who, with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of the employment position that such person holds or desires. Under the ADA, a “disability” is: (a) a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; (b) a record of such impairment; or (c) being regarded as having such an impairment. Alcoholism and drug addiction are disabilities.

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Employer’s Liability for Sexual Harassment by Supervisors


By Danna McKitrick



Charges of Sexual Harassment Are a Small Business Nightmare – Statistics Bare This Out.

Last year, 15,222 charges of sexual harassment were filed with the EEOC and state FEPA’s with which the EEOC has work sharing agreements – 12.1% of them by males.

Last year, charging parties recovered some $50.3 million dollars through resolution of sexual harassment charges by these agencies. This does not include amounts received through litigation.

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Employment Manuals: An Ounce of Prevention


By Danna McKitrick



In few areas are employers more heavily regulated than in their employment relationships. At the federal level, such regulation includes: the Fair Labor Standards Act, the National Labor Relations Act, the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Civil Rights Act of 1991, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, and executive orders applicable to federal government contractors. At the local level, state common law and numerous statutes, regulations and ordinances affect virtually every aspect of the employment relationship, and in some cases, impose pre- and post employment obligations.

Some employers attempt to navigate this regulatory minefield without clearly defined written policies and procedures that take into account the federal, state and local laws applicable to their operations. The larger the employer, or the more jurisdictions encompassed by its operations, the more hazardous this becomes.

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