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Is Illegal Drug Use a Disability

September 15, 1998
Related Topics: Disabilities, Substance Abuse, Featured Article
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If an employee or a job applicant uses illegal drugs, is that considered a disability covered under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA)?

Generally, illegal drug use is not an ADA-covered disability, as long as an employer is making a decision on the basis of that use and not on an actual ADA-covered disability. Furthermore, while the ADA restricts medical examinations, tests for illegal drugs are generally not illegal under the ADA.

Source: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Washington, D.C., August 1998.

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