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TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 12205
Experience:  JD, MBA
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My husband works Airlines, and is subject to random drug

Customer Question

My husband works for Delta Airlines, and is subject to random drug testing. He has been having health issues for the past year and is in the process of getting it all sorted out. He was on short-term disability and had tried to get back on it because he was having issues with his foot (diagnosed as cellulitis). He didn't get short term disability because his doctor refused to do the paperwork, but didn't even look at my husband's foot at all, so my husband was going to appeal but his pay and health insurance was suspended. He went back to work, and finally got his insurance re-instated. But last week he had a random drug test, but after hours was unable to urinate. (It happened at his doctor before, too, and we sat there for a couple hours while he drank water and finally went a little). Delta sent him to a doctor to be checked out that same day, but didn't tell him he would have to give a urine sample, and he had urinated at some point in between the drug test where he was unable to and the doctor. My husband was told he would be called to set up another drug test. But, the person administering the test said my husband REFUSED to take the drug test, which wasn't the case at all! He sat there for hours but they would only let him have 40 oz of water. They are telling him that not giving a sample is the same as testing positive, and he will be fired. We offered to go and get a DOT Compliant drug test under supervision with a physical, but were told Delta wouldn't honor it, even if it was negative for drugs. My husband has worked there for 27 years, never refused or failed a drug test ever. He is willing to take one any time they say. Can they fire him for this, or do we have a case? A friend of his said it was like they were firing him to avoid having to pay health care for his recent issues, and that got us thinking. Thank you for your help.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hello and thank you for the opportunity to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do my very best to answer your legal questions. Nothing you wrote appears to support the claim that your friend made regarding the avoidance of healthcare. Based on what you wrote, it seems clear that if your husband is terminated, it would be for not taking the drug test. Accordingly, if I were your husband, I would make a new appointment at the facility that Delta requires employees to use, and then drink a lot of fluids before going there, and after getting there. I'd wait there all day if necessary. If your husband can't urinate under those circumstances, then I would be prepared to prove that your husband has a medical condition that prevents urination. So I would quickly see a doctor in order to get such a diagnosis that he can share, and to also get treated since what you describe is certainly not normal. Can Delta fire him for not being able to urinate so that he can take the drug test? There is nothing illegal about it, unless the condition qualifies as a disability under the ADA. If it is a disability, then it would be illegal to fire your husband for the inability to urinate for the drug test. In that circumstance, Delta would need to accommodate the disability by providing an alternative means to test for drugs, such as a hair test (which, by the way, is actually more effective than a urine test). Does that answer your question? Please let me know if you need clarification, as I am happy to continue helping you until you are satisfied.
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hello again. I didn't hear back from you, so I'm just checking in to make sure that you don't need more help on this issue. If not, then please remember to provide a positive rating to close out this question (and please remember that your positive rating is the only way that I'll get credit for helping you, so I greatly appreciate it). Thank you!
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hello again. I didn't hear back from you, so I'm just checking in to make sure that you don't need more help on this issue. If not, then please remember to provide a positive rating to close out this question (and please remember that your positive rating is the only way that I'll get credit for helping you, so I greatly appreciate it). Thank you!