Can my employer prohibit me from taking prescription medications?

Asked on August 1, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If the medications are ones that do in fact impair your performance at work and/or are ones which pose an unacceptably high risk of danger to yourself, co-workers, clients/customers, or the public, then the employer can tell you that you cannot do the job while so impaired or take the medications that cause the risk; employers are not required to employ people who cannot do their job, and/or who expose the employer to risk of loss or liability. So if, for example, you are a driver or equipment operator, an employer can tell you that you cannot work while taking medications which come with the warning to not operate equipment while under the medications' influence. Similarly, if you are taking something that decreases your energy level or ability to focus and, as a result are being unproductive or making excessive mistakes, the employer can tell you to change that behavior or you will be terminated, even if the behavior is the result of prescription medication.

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