Is it legal?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Is it legal?

I was fired from my job for being on a
methadone mantinence program. I was with
the company for 7 years, my boss knew I
started the program last year. I think he’s just
using it for a reason to get rid of me.

Asked on September 18, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, New Jersey


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Speak to the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights (DCR): you may have an employment discrimination claim. Addiction can be considered a disabiliity; employers are prohibited from discriminating against (e.g. firing) someone for having a disability. An employer may terminate someone for their at-work *actions*, even if such are based in a disability, like addiction: e.g. if you used drugs at work, or had performance issues at work due to the use of drugs, you could be terminated for that criminal act or that poor performance--but again, you can't be terminated simply for having a condition or disability, or the treatment you undergo for it, as long as said treatment, etc. does not impact work. So if you did nothing wrong at work but believe you were terminated just for being in the program due to an addiction, that may be illegal disability-based employment discrimination and, if so, the DCR may be able to help you.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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