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If a person is terminated after admitting to a drug

If a person is...

If a person is terminated after admitting to a drug addiction problem are they disqualified for unemployment benefits?

Lawyer's Assistant: What state are you in? It matters because laws vary by location.

Iowa

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

Not yet. I was told the company should have offered him treatment under FMLA. Instead they dru

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Were going to drug test him but he told them he'd b dirty.

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Answered in 5 minutes by:
8/2/2017
Patrick, Esq.
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 14,040
Experience: Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
Verified

Hello and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do everything I can to answer your question.

If the employer had a policy against drug use, testing positive for drugs will generally result in the denial of unemployment benefits. The claimant can certainly attempt to argue that the positive test was due to an addiction, and this may be considered a mitigating circumstance. But if simply claiming addiction meant that an employee terminated for a positive drug test could collect unemployment, everyone terminated under such circumstances would claim that and the exception would swallow the rule.

The fact the employee had an addiction would be one mitigating circumstance of several that could potentially be considered. Also to be considered would be what drug the employee tested positive for (i.e. marijuana would not be nearly as bad as heroine), whether the employee was under the influence on the job, and how many times in the past the employee has tested positive, if any. Basically, you want to argue that, all things considered, your positive test did not evidence a willful disregard for the interests of your employer. The most facts you can cite in support of that argument the better your chances are of getting approved for benefits.

If I can clarify anything at all for you, please do not hesitate to ask. It is my pleasure to assist you further if necessary....

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
He signed a contract when he was hired about 7yrs ago that said if it was discovered that an employee was using drugs they would get him treatment. Inatead she said she was going to drug test hom frequently. He never actually took the test either. He called and told her it would probably b dirty and she terminated him. Told him he wont be rehired unless hes clean a month. And he is definitely an addict. He intends to find another job anyway. That one is not a healthy work environment for a guy like him.
Customer reply replied 9 months ago
I feel the company is kind of dirty amyway. They hire alot of guys out of prison and a bunch of the workers use drugs. It's a very physically demanding job and they only get 1 half hour lunch break in a 12 hr day.

Thank you. The contract would have actually given the employee an expectation that a positive test would NOT result in termination, which helps his case for unemployment benefits. The fact the employee never took the test is probably immaterial since he admitted to drug use which is what the test was supposed to determine.

Still, there is certainly a good chance that benefits could be grants based on what you have described.

Again if there is anything more I can do for you just let me know. It's my pleasure....

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Thank you. So if we were to pursue this would the first step b to call IA workforce and try to open a claim? What's the starting point?

You can apply online using this portal. Workforce Development will then contact you for an interview and make a determination from there.

Again, please feel free to let me know if you have any further concerns. If I have answered your question, I would be very grateful for a positive rating of my service (using the stars at the top of the page) so that I may receive credit for assisting you.

Patrick, Esq.
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 14,040
Experience: Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
Verified
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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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