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Pennsylvania Federal Court Dismisses EEOC Claim that Company Practice of Conducting Random Testing on Probationary Employees Violates ADA

Posted Thursday, February 28, 2013 3:52 pm

The United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania recently granted an employer's summary judgment motion in a case the EEOC filed challenging the company's practice of conducting random drug and alcohol testing on probationary employees.


New employees are generally assigned to work in the coke production department, where they face numerous safety hazards and are required to wear heavy layers of protective equipment. In concluding that the company's practice of across-the-board medical screenings did not violate the Americans with Disabilities Act, the court reasoned that the testing policy was job-related and consistent with business necessity because it comports with the necessity of maintaining workplace safety. Probationary employees were charged with performing dangerous and safety-sensitive duties, and lapses in judgment could have catastrophic consequences. The limitation of the testing program to probationary employees was also justified, because these workers have not yet demonstrated that they can follow appropriate safety standards and adequately perform job duties on a daily basis. Untrained workers are inherently more dangerous than regular employees, the court reasoned, because they are not entirely familiar with the job and safety risks. Read more.


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