Does taking ADHD medications necessarily preclude employment in a ‘safety-sensitve’ position by a private employer?

A 59 year old was diagnosed ADHD and takes a normal daily dosage of amphetamines. Their MD will provide in writing that individual is able to perform the supplied job duties while taking amphetamines at the prescribed dose. The individual’s experience is that the use of the amphetamines in and of themselves does not impair ability to perform job duties. Also, would the least troublesome approach be to discontinue amphetamine use prior to any drug-testing so as to

Asked on May 17, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Louisiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

There are positions were an employer is not required to emloy someone on certain medication, even if prescribed for a legitimate condition and even if a doctor says its ok, if it is not unreasonable that the medication or drugs could pose safety risks. Examples include certain driving jobs, piloting, operating heavy equipment, etc. The law simply does not make the employer undertake additional risk of liability, due to possible personal injury or property damage.
Trying to cheat the drug test is extremely unwise: when that comes out later (e.g. when the employer becomes aware of the drug use), you could be fired "for cause" (no unemployment) and in some contexts face liability (e.g. besued), too.
There are many jobs where amphetamine usage isnot an issue: it would better to focus on those.

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