What are my rights regarding discrimination and wrongful termination?

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What are my rights regarding discrimination and wrongful termination?

I was honest with my boss about a alochol problem that I had. I went to detox. Then, 2 weeks later, my boss accused me of drinking and doing drugs on the job with absolutely no proof. I was willing to take a drug test of his choosing to prove my innocence. He refused and I was terminated without any proof or records of this being a issue in the past. I am not union and I never signed an employee at-will document.

Asked on May 16, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Absent an employment contract or union agreement to the contrary, typically a company can set the conditions of the workplace much as it sees fit. However, an employer's actions cannot constitute some form of legally actionable discrimination. And the fact is that alcohol dependence is considered a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"). Accordingly, alcoholic employees may not be discriminated against so long as they can perform the essential functions of the job. In other words, abuse and dependence are treated differently. At this point, you should consult with an employment law attorney. They can best advise you further after reviewing all of the details of your case.

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Absent an employment contract or union agreement to the contrary, typically a company can set the conditions of the workplace much as it sees fit. However, an employer's actions cannot constitute some form of legally actionable discrimination. And the fact is that alcohol dependence is considered a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"). Accordingly, alcoholic employees may not be discriminated against so long as they can perform the essential functions of the job. In other words, abuse and dependence are treated differently. At this point, you should consult with an employment law attorney. They can best advise you further after reviewing all of the details of your case.


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