Volvo Settles Suit Over Withdrawn Job Offer to Recovering Drug Addict

January 29, 2018

Volvo Group North America, LLC, has agreed to pay $70,000 and provide certain equitable relief to settle a lawsuit alleging that it violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) when it failed to conduct an individualized assessment to determine what effect, if any, a prescription drug would have on a job applicant before withdrawing its conditional job offer.

Volvo made a conditional job offer to a qualified applicant, who was also a recovering drug addict enrolled in a supervised medication-assisted treatment program, for a laborer position at its Hagerstown, Maryland, facility. During his post-offer physical examination, the applicant disclosed that he was taking medically prescribed Suboxone. Volvo did not conduct an individualized assessment to determine what effect, if any, the Suboxone had on the applicant’s ability to perform the job. When he reported for his first day of work, Volvo informed him that it could not hire him because of his Suboxone use.

In addition to the monetary relief to the applicant, the three-year consent decree resolving the suit enjoins Volvo from violating the ADA in the future. Volvo will also:

  • distribute to employees at its Hagerstown facility an ADA policy explaining the right to a reasonable accommodation for a disability unless it would pose an undue hardship;
  • amend its policy on post-offer medical and drug evaluations to explain how it will assess whether an employee’s or applicant’s lawful use of prescription medication poses a direct threat as defined by the ADA, including providing a reasonable accommodation as required by the ADA;
  • provide ADA training, including on how the law relates to drug screening and the use of lawfully prescribed medications;
  • report to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on how it handles any complaints of disability discrimination: and
  • post a notice about the settlement.