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A.J.
A.J., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 4268
Experience:  Licensed to practice law, I have experience in Employment, Appeals, and Landlord/Tenant Law
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I am CLASS B CDL DRIVER I carry one shifts dose of meds

Resolved Question:

I am CLASS B CDL DRIVER I carry one shifts dose of meds in a baggie in lunch box. I also carry in lunch box a copy of ALL prescription meds I take. The same labels as on the bottle. I just don't carry more than that days dose, because they have been stolen before on another job. And it keeps my meds private. alledgely I may have nocked out of my lunch box my meds, leaving them in the truck. The other girl found this meds and turned them in to the boss. Resulting in my being let go. I cant find a law that says that I cant carry one days dose for my shift as long as I have a copy of the prescriptions with me. We were on the same shift, then they put me on 2nd, then on 3rd. I was trying to remember to take my meds and at the same trying to shift them around to adjust to night shift and still take as prescribed, by moving a little each day. I am under a collective bargaining agreement. I cant find any feder or local or state law for this! PLEASE PLEASE HELP ME! ! I passed all their pre employment and drug testing and I hold a drug card.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  A.J. replied 1 year ago.

SavyLawyer :

Hello, and thank you for contacting Just Answer. My name isXXXXX am an employment law professional and I appreciate the opportunity to answer your question this afternoon.

SavyLawyer :

Without getting in to too many specifics (because this is a public forum), what types of issues were the meds for, and was the employer aware of the need for medication?

Customer:

I had 1 controlled substance pill and not sure abt the others. I share that tk with the other driver. and my immediate supervisor was awhere of the hydrocodone and its listed on my physical papers as well. The did pre employment drug testing, as well as a driving test.

Customer:

I also hold a drug card

Customer:

driving on these meds for 8 yrs

Customer:

I was in a bad auto accident in 2005 I also see every 2 months a pain management doctor for 8 yrs

SavyLawyer :

Ok, thank you for providing extra information. The reason I ask is, separate from the collective bargaining agreement (which I will address in a moment) you may have some protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA protects anyone with a qualified disability from discrimination, and requires an employer provide reasonable accommodation (such as potentially the right to take prescription medication that does not cause a safety hazard).

SavyLawyer :

Now, a disability is a condition, either physical or psychological, that inhibits at least one major life activity. A pain condition that makes it more difficult to move around arguably could be a disability, particularly because Congress widely expanded the definition of disability in 2008.

SavyLawyer :

As such, you may have an argument to make that your pain condition is a disability and that, if your employer knew of the disability, being able to take your medication that does not negatively effect your job performance is a reasonable accommodation that could be provided.

Customer:

my first pain management doctor gave me a release paper to drive on this medication. He said it didn't effect me like other people trying to get high

SavyLawyer :

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has a good online information page on disability discrimination at:

SavyLawyer :

http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/types/disability.cfm

SavyLawyer :

Understood, and that would certainly speak positively to your taking the medication as a reasonable accommodation for a disability.

SavyLawyer :

What you describe does have the makings of a disability discrimination case, particularly if there is medical documentation that the medication is needed and does not cause a safety hazard for you while working/driving.

SavyLawyer :

To file a charge of disability discrimination with the EEOC, instructions can be found at:

SavyLawyer :

http://www.eeoc.gov/employees/howtofile.cfm

SavyLawyer :

I would strongly encourage you to sit down with an employment law attorney licensed in Indiana in person prior to taking any legal action. Often attorneys will provide an initial consultation free of charge (or for a small charge), and I would encourage you to do so before filing a charge, just to make sure it is the appropriate action for you.

SavyLawyer :

Now, there is also the issue of the collective bargaining agreement. Most agreements have a grievance procedure where discipline and termination can be grieved and even ultimately taken to arbitration (like a mini trial), if disciplinary steps were not properly followed. Following up with your union rep or union steward, and making sure that a grievance is filed and that the process is followed is a good idea if you have not already done so.

SavyLawyer :

The purpose of a collective bargaining agreement is to protect employee rights, and so following up with the grievance procedure is another option, in addition to a possible charge of disability discrimination through the EEOC.

SavyLawyer :

So, your two avenues of possible recourse are:

SavyLawyer :

(1) A charge of disability discrimination through the EEOC, or

SavyLawyer :

(2) A grievance and attempting to have the termination revoked through the grievance procedure in your collective bargaining agreement.

SavyLawyer :

(or both, they are not mutually exclusive)

SavyLawyer :

Although you are allowed to file a charge with the EEOC on your own, I would encourage you to at least consult with a local attorney before doing so.

Customer:

I just want to work, I pride myself in the fact that im not filling for disiability. Yes all my doctors say I have a disability. Ive had surgery it didn't work but the medication keeps the pain at bay. and that lets me keep moving. I just want to work it keep me young

SavyLawyer :

I absolutely understand, and commend you on working despite what I imagine is pretty significant pain. I would certainly encourage you to follow up with the grievance procedure and a charge for disability discrimination at your discretion. One other option would be to send a demand letter (or have an attorney send a demand letter) stating that you would prefer to just go back to work but if they refuse, you will then take what legal options are available to you.

SavyLawyer :

I hope this chat has been helpful, and let me know if you have any additional questions, it has been a pleasure chatting with you. Otherwise, please remember to RATE my answer so that I can receive credit for my work.

Customer:

yes I have filled grievance with the union and they are working on this. But are there any local or federal laws pertaining to transporting my medication the way I did. And by being a CDL driver . DID I BREAK ANY LAWS

Customer:

I would never break a law. And I have learned a great lesson. to me that bag was my pill container they did not return my meds SO NOW WHOS BREAKING THE LAW They are in possession without a prescription

SavyLawyer :

I am not aware of any laws being broken just by having the medication on you, so long as the prescription was yours and you had clearance from a doctor to carry the medication. To the best of my knowledge, so long as medication is taken as prescribed and clearance by a doctor has been given, I am not aware of any laws prohibited from carrying medication on your person when operating a commercial vehicle. Truth be told your union probably has more information on that issue (or should), but I am not aware of any legal prohibitions no.

SavyLawyer :

That is a fair point, and something you are free to raise with the employer. In any event, I am glad that you are pursuing the grievance option, and now you know that you can consider a charge for discrimination (Again, after first consulting with an attorney locally if at all possible).

SavyLawyer :

I can certainly understand your frustration, and hope that the situation can be resolved in your favor. Either way, it has been a pleasure chatting with you, and let me know if you need any additional information. Otherwise, please remember to RATE my answer so that I can receive credit for my work.

Customer:

They are probably keeping the meds as proof that I lost them in the truck. The other driver however knew I was taking this medicine and yet she turned it in, she could have thrown it away. the trash can sits right behind where we park.

SavyLawyer :

Unfortunately she did not. I don't see how accidentally losing prescription medication in a truck is grounds for termination, particularly where there is a collective bargaining agreement in place, but that will be an issue to fight out between the employer and your union. As I said before, the disability charge is another possibility. Ultimately, I cannot speak to what happened in the past, but instead to what your options are going forward. I wish you the best of luck whatever path you take. Let me know if you have any additional questions or need clarification on anything I have said. Otherwise, please remember to RATE my answer so that I can receive credit for my work.

Customer:

yes I will rate your answers I think you have helped to ease my mine a little. Its just that im unemployed till this gets resolved. I needed the hours for my medical insurance. can you tell what kind of lawyer I need to look for. And how do I find one that will work for I guess some of any winnings. can you tell me where to find a list or someplace to suggest to me.

SavyLawyer :

I'm glad to provide information where I can. If you are in the Indianapolis area, the city bar association has a few free legal resources at:

SavyLawyer :

http://www.indybar.org/community/legal-advice/

SavyLawyer :

and then they have a referral service at:

SavyLawyer :

http://www.indybar.org/community/lawyer-referral-service/

SavyLawyer :

Otherwise, you can check with your county bar association, they may have a lawyer referral service you can use.

SavyLawyer :

The type of attorney you are looking for is one that practices in Employment/Labor law. Some just call themselves Employment lawyers, some Labor lawyers, but there is generally considerable overlap.

SavyLawyer :

Indiana Legal Services also provides a list of referral services in the state at:

SavyLawyer :

http://www.indianalegalservices.org/library/157

SavyLawyer :

Or, you can look on a site such as www.lawyers.com, there are a considerable number of attorney listing there.

SavyLawyer :

I hope this helps further, and let me know if you have any additional questions or concerns. Otherwise, please remember to RATE my answer so that I can receive credit for my work.

Customer:

I am in Marengo IN abt 100 miles south of Indy Your the best! ! ! I SO THANK YOU !!!!!!!! Wish I could have worked with you in person. I think I would have stayed with you! What state are you in? I have facebook Sherri L Byerly would never give this kind of information, but at least you can see what kind of person I am.

Customer:

Thanks again! rating will be the highest ever!

SavyLawyer :

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX happy to help where I can. Unfortunately we cannot take direct referrals through this site (it is an informational site only), and I am in Illinois only, whereas you really need to sit down and talk with an attorney licensed in Indiana. I am glad I could help, it has been pleasure chatting with you. I wish you the best of luck in resolving this issue, and thank you in advance for rating my answer. Take care.

Customer:

after I rate you will this information stay on here till I get it on paper

SavyLawyer :

It will, you can return to this answer's unique URL:

SavyLawyer :

http://www.justanswer.com/employment-law/7ydka-class-cdl-driver-carry-one-shifts-dose-meds.html

SavyLawyer :

Once you have rated, the answer still is viewable to you through that web address.

Customer:

IM not much on computers just wanted to make sure. can I print this

SavyLawyer :

You can, but not from "chat". Once you have rated I can switch the format and you will be able to print from there.

Customer:

thanks

SavyLawyer :

You are very welcome, best of luck to you!

A.J., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 4268
Experience: Licensed to practice law, I have experience in Employment, Appeals, and Landlord/Tenant Law
A.J. and 13 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  A.J. replied 1 year ago.
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