By: Daily Record Staff//November 16, 2023
By: Daily Record Staff//November 16, 2023//
New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Fourth Judicial Department
Drug tests – Legitimate and nondiscriminatory reason for termination
Appealed from Supreme Court, Onondaga County
Background: The plaintiff commenced an action alleging that the defendant’s termination of her employment constituted discrimination based on her status as a victim of domestic violence. The plaintiff’s employment was terminated after an employee of the defendant received an anonymous phone call alleging that the plaintiff was using drugs while at work. The plaintiff refused to take a drug test. The defendant appealed from the denial of its motion for summary judgment.
Ruling: The Appellate Division reversed. The court held that the defendant met its burden by establishing legitimate, independent, and nondiscriminatory reasons to support its employment decision. The defendant had a reasonable suspicion to believe that the plaintiff was using drugs while at work, that it was the defendant’s policy to drug test employees in such circumstances, and that if the employee refused the drug test, the employee would be terminated. The court also said there is a question of fact as to whether the defendant was required to accommodate the plaintiff’s status as a domestic violence victim in the form of delaying a drug test.
M. Ibrahim Tariq, of Harris Beach, for the defendant-appellant; Sarah Hayes, pro se.