Court Sides With Hospital for Firing Dishonest Employee

PITTSBURGH — The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has upheld Lehigh Valley Hospital’s firing of a security guard, who denied prior drug or alcohol addiction treatment on his application, but later admitted to being a recovering drug addict.

When Robert Reilly was hired as a part-time security officer in August 2006, his was asked whether had had been diagnosed with or treated for alcoholism or drug addiction on his job application. For both questions, his response was “no.” However, in May 2008, after he sustained a work-related injury, he admitted to the treating physician that he was, indeed, a recovering addict. Once hospital personnel found out, they fired Reilly, Ogletree Deakins reports.

In his lawsuit against LVH, Reilly cited disability discrimination for the reason of his termination. During a deposition, the plaintiff testified that he had attended approximately 40 hours at a drug and alcohol treatment center following a DUI conviction in 1995. Additionally, Reilly also noted that he still regularly attends Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings.

The court determined that Reilly failed to prove that the hospital’s proffered reason for his firing was a pretext for discrimination.

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