Chicago, IL asked in Employment Law for Kansas

Q: Is suspicion of drug use enough to legally be terminated?

I was not offered a drug test or any chance to defend myself, I was simply walked out of the building and that’s the last I had heard of it. This is all based solely on hearsay, no evidence or investigation at all. Just wondering if there’s any legal action I can take. Thanks!

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1 Lawyer Answer

A: Generally, in at-will employment states, employers may fire their employees for any reason or for no reason at all and need not provide you any opportunity to tell your side of the story. However, you may have a claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") here. But whether you have a claim will be highly dependent upon the specific facts of your situation. Under the ADA, current or former drug use is considered a disability because addiction to drugs can substantially limit cognitive and brain function. However, you are typically only protected under the law for former drug addition (or being falsely accused of drug addiction), not current drug addiction. For example, if your employer mistakenly believed you were using drugs and fired you on this basis, you may be able to argue it discriminated against you based on a perceived disability in violation of the ADA.

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