Q: Disability discrimination
I got a job offer from Toyota which I signed. I took a drug test and brought my epilepsy medicine with me. The drug testing place (who works directly for Toyota) is now refusing to release my test results to Toyota Hr until I provide them with a letter from my doctor acknowledging that I am capable of doing the job. They have already cost me my start date. This seems very discriminatory at this point. Is this something that a job can force you to provide? Are they allowed to do this to everyone with a disability?
A: Both the Federal government and many states have laws protecting the employment rights of disabled individuals, epilepsy is considered a disability. Often employers are required to undergo a discussion with the employee before making any decision that would deny them rights. It sounds like the medical screening that you are going through is a post-hire screening, but you are entitled to rights both before and after hire. I don't know what your job is going to be, however, uncontrolled epilepsy could prevent you from "performing essential functions" while being a potential "danger to yourself and others." (language from the ADA) This is why they want your MD to certify that you can do the job without that hazard. Some of the delay may be due to your own physician's delay in providing paperwork so you can get to work. Many Doctors don't like to get involved in the patient's employment problems, however, it comes with the care of the entire individual. Suggest that you seek a consultation with an employee rights attorney in TN, if you cannot find one on Justia, do a google search.
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