In a ruling, the Sixth Circuit Court awarded a summary judgement for Ford Motor Company in a case involving a worker passed over for an apprenticeship. The man was passed over because of restrictions placed on him related to an opioid addiction. While the man claimed that he was weaning himself off of the medication, it was ruled by an independent doctor that his records were inconsistent with this claim.
As the man was still taking opioids, he was not allowed to resume unrestricted employment. Although the man was not allowed to take part in the apprenticeship when he first applied, Ford claimed he could take part if he stopped taking the opioid medication. Furthermore, the company allowed him to work in another position, and it had accommodated his restrictions for the past nine years.
While the man claimed that he was discriminated against based on his disability, the court found that he did not meet the burden of proof. Ford's doctors, as well as those making decisions about the apprenticeship, truly believed that his use of opioids could harm his performance. Additionally, the court ruled against his claim that he was denied a job based on his disability because he would have needed to show that he was denied the opportunity to do a whole class of jobs.
Those in Boca Raton who believe that they have been discriminated against may wish to talk to an attorney. An attorney may be able to help establish that a worker was denied a position based on a disability or another illegal basis. Legal counsel may be able to review the facts in the case to determine if a worker was part of a protected class and meets other criteria to be considered a victim of discriminatory activity.