Posts Tagged ‘abnormal speech’

Earlier this year, the Northern District of Illinois held that there was nothing discriminatory about a company ordering a black employee to submit to a single drug test following a workplace incident where the employee threw coffee on another employee and exhibited abnormal speech, screaming, yelling, and profanity.  In the matter of Berry v. ArcelorMittal USA LLC, the court noted that the company’s drug policy stated that “any employee suspected of being impaired by drugs may be required to submit to a drug screening test to determine their fitness for work.”  The company’s drug testing policy was worded in such a manner that it left the decision of whether to order the employee to submit to a drug test to the supervisor’s perception of the employee’s behavior.  Thus, the wording of the drug testing policy helped the employer defeat the plaintiff’s argument that his white co-worker, with whom he had engaged in a conflict on the date in question, should have also been ordered to submit to a drug test because the court found that the supervisor credibly testified that he perceived  the plaintiff, and not the co-worker, as behaving erratically and therefore justifiably ordered only the plaintiff to be drug tested. 

This case serves as a good example of why it is important for companies, and especially construction companies, to have well written drug testing policies.    The attorneys at Harmon & Davies are available to assist employers with drafting their drug policies. 

This article is authored by attorney Shannon O. Young and is intended for educational purposes and to give you general information and a general understanding of the law only, not to provide specific legal advice. Any particular questions should be directed to your legal counsel or, if you do not have one, please feel free to contact us.

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