Man who missed work for drug detox loses suit against employer who fired him

By Leslie Gamboni | Aug 19, 2013

NEW ORLEANS – A man claiming his rights granted under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Family and Medical Leave Act were violated lost an appeal against his former employer who fired him after he entered, but did not complete a program for drug addiction.

Bryan Shirley lost an appeal in the United States Courts of Appeal for the Fifth Circuit against his former employer concerning claims under the ADA and the FMLA.

Suffering a drug addiction, Shirley requested medical leave in order to be treated. He entered treatment voluntarily but after one day of detox, checked himself out. The physician’s note stated that Shirley completed detox, but did not undergo the complete rehabilitation treatment under the program.

Shirley was then fired by Wyman-Gordon Forgings L.P., an iron and steel forging and manufacturing company, and he then filed suit in result claiming that his employers violated the ADA and FMLA.

However, the company’s policy detailed that if any employee develops a drug or alcohol problem they may confidently inform human resources to pursue treatment.

The policy also detailed that an employee “who rejects treatment or who leaves a treatment program prior to being properly discharged will be terminated.”

The claims were dismissed in the district court as well as in the court of appeals.

The case was over seen by Jacques L. Wiener, James L. Dennis and Priscilla Owen.

Case no. 12-20544.

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