Drug dependency not a disability under New York’s Human Rights Law
Matter of Michael Kirk v City of New York, 47 AD3d 406
Michael Kirk was terminated from his position with the New York City Fire Department after testing positive for cocaine in a random drug test.
The Appellate Division rejected Kirk’s contention that the Department’s random drug testing policy is unconstitutional and decided that the penalty of termination for substance abuse “does not shock the conscience,” citing Reinhard v City of New York, 34 AD3 376, leave to appeal denied, 8 NY3d 808.
The court pointed out that while alcohol dependency qualifies as a disability under the New York State Human Rights Law, drug abuse does not and Kirk was unable to prove that his drug abuse was causally related to his alcoholism.
The decision is posted on the Internet at:http://www.nycourts.gov/reporter/3dseries/2008/2008_00037.htm
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