How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Marsha411JD Your Own Question
Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 20395
Experience:  Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. exp in Employment Law
Type Your Employment Law Question Here...
Marsha411JD is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I work billion dollar pharma company. I took short term

Customer Question

I work for a billion dollar pharma company. I took short term disability Sept 1st 2014 for work place harrassement and to care for my father who was sick from cancer. My father died in Nov 14' I've been back at work since Nov 1st. In January I recieved an OVI in the state of OHIO, I have been charged but not convicted. The fleet policy was updated on 3/31 /15 with my company stating that any citations or arrests must be reported within 24 hours. I recieved the policy on in my mail on 4/30 and reported my ongoing trial to my manager on 5/4. Today, the company put me on unpaid suspension with benefits. The letter states. Upon the disposition of your case, we will review the facts and determine whether we will continue your employment. HR and my manager stated on the phone that if my case is dismissed they will give me compensation for the months that I"m on suspension. I was arrested bc the officer said I smelled of alcohol, I blew a .00, I reported to the officer that I was on Ativan for grief reaction and was given a letter from my doctor that states I can drive on the medication. Which is why I am going to trial in the state of OH in June. Do I have a case against my company for medical reasons?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for the information. I am a bit confused by your question though. Can you tell me what you believe the employer has done that was illegal and that has to do with any ongoing medical issue that you might have? Also, do you drive a company vehicle or otherwise drive for your job?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes I drive a company vehicle, the medical condition is depression. I'm prescribed wellbutrin and ativan. The pending "traffic case" is based on the fact that I took Ativan, even though I blew a .00 the police tested urine and it showed in the urine.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have a short term disability claim from 10/3 that is based on work place stress and harrassment.
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 2 years ago.
Hello again and thank you for your reply. I assume that you are wondering if your employer suspending you for the OVI under their policy is unlawful because of the basis you and your attorney are asserting was the reason for the behavior that led to the stop. The answer, unfortunately, is no. As long as they have a policy that is neutral (which what you described is) and you drive for the company, they are within their legal rights to suspend you no matter what might have caused the behavior that led to the charge.
In this case, they are actually going beyond what the law would require by offering reinstatement and back pay if you are acquitted. Unless there is a bargaining agreement that states otherwise, an employer in Ohio, like most states, could terminate an employee in this situation. But, in any event, they are not violating the law by suspending you even if you are later acquitted and even if the basis for the charge was your lawful use of a prescription drug.
Please feel free to ask for clarification. I would be glad to assist you further if I can.
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 2 years ago.
Hello again,
I wanted to touch base with you and make sure that you did not have any follow up questions for me from the answer I provided to you on the 19th. For some unknown reason, the Experts are not always getting replies or ratings (in the pop up box, which is how we get credit (paid) for our work) that the customer thinks have gone through. In your case I received neither. If you are having technical difficulties with reading, replying or rating, please let me know so that I can inform the Site administrator.
In any event, it was a pleasure assisting you and I would be glad to attempt to assist you further on this issue, or a new legal issue, if needed. You can bookmark my page at:
Thank you.