Suit Alleges UPS Discriminates For Prescription Drug Usage

August 13, 2004 ( - United Parcel Service (UPS) has been charged with violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for allegedly terminating hundreds of employees because the company disapproved of their prescription medications.

The class action lawsuit chargesUPS forced employees with a history of addiction to alcohol or drugs to disclose their prescriptions medications. The company then prohibits these employees from using any medications it believes are “inappropriate” for someone in recovery, according to a news release issued by Lamberton Law Firm, LLC, the attorney representing the plaintiffs.

The suit also contends UPS tests the employee’s urine to make sure they have stopped using the prescription in question. Continued use of the prescription could lead to termination, the suit says.

“Our first concern is that the company stop practicing medicine,” said Charles Lamberton, lead attorney for the plaintiffs. “These employees are using legal prescriptions under their doctors’ supervision. They still do their jobs perfectly well. UPS is telling them they either have to quit their medicine or be fired.”

Darlene Veltri, a 17-year UPS employee, said the UPS Employee Assistance Program made her disclose her prescription medication and stop taking Xanax – against the advice of her physician – as a condition for returning to work. Veltri claims that created a hostile work environment and amounted to harassment based on her disability and that she was fired in January 2003 after a company drug test discovered the anti-anxiety drug Xanax in her system.

The lawsuit is Darlene E. Veltri and the American Association of People with Disabilities vs. United Parcel Service, Inc ., Civil Action No. 04-1177 (W.D. Pa.).