When Alcohol Is Involved, the ADA Distinguishes Between ‘Having a Disability’ and ‘Disability-related Misconduct’

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Alcoholism is an ADA-protected disability.

Yet the ADA does not require that employers accommodate alcoholics by permitting them to drink, or otherwise be intoxicated, on the job.

Case in point? Dennis v. Fitzsimmons (D. Col. 9/5/19).

Jared Dennis was employed as a deputy in the Summit County, Colorado, Sheriff’s Office. He’s also an alcoholic. While on administrative suspension following his wife’s allegation of domestic violence, Dennis got drunk at home the night before his criminal arraignment. The following morning, he failed his intake breathalyzer. Thereafter, the Sheriff’s Office terminated him for, among other rules violations, conduct unbecoming of an officer and being

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