The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission today sued a Raleigh insurance office for not hiring a recovering drug addict who tested positive for methadone in his system.
The federal anti-discrimination agency's Charlotte office, which filed the case, said that United Insurance Company of America violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by rescinding a job offer to Craig Burns, a Raleigh resident, after he failed his drug test.
According to the suit, Burns applied for an opening as an insurance agent in December 2009 and was hired conditionally the next month, pending the outcome of the drug test.
Burns, 30, had methadone in his system because he is a recovering drug addict who has been enrolled in a supervised treatment program since at least 2004, the suit says.
"We have to set aside our personal feelings and do what the law dictates," said Lynette Barnes, the EEOC's regional attorney in Charlotte. "That's why he's covered by the ADA. He has this impairment that requires him to take the methadone."