An age-restricted senior living community is facing a disability discrimination lawsuit after allegedly revoking a job offer to a veteran over a failed drug test.
A veteran who has post-traumatic stress disorder was offered employment at The Princess Martha in St. Petersburg, FL, conditioned on a negative drug test. During her interview, the applicant revealed her disability and disclosed that she was taking legally prescribed medications that would affect a drug test, according to the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
A few days after her drug test — which came back with a “non-negative” result — the woman said her job offer was revoked without explanation.
The EEOC filed a lawsuit last week in US District Court for the Middle District of Florida against The Princess Martha and TJM Properties, a real estate acquisition and management firm specializing in senior living communities and hotels, after settlement discussions failed.
The EEOC alleges the community violated the Americans with Disabilities Act, which protects employees form discrimination based on their disabilities and requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations.
The commission is seeking back pay, and compensatory and punitive damages for the woman.
“Unfortunately, discriminatory drug testing practices can be a mechanism for excluding qualified job applicants who suffer form mental health conditions,” EEOC Regional Attorney Robert E. Weisberg said in a statement. “The ADA prohibits employers from excluding applicants for hire because of their disability. If an employer chooses to drug test applicants, it is critical they utilize the results in compliance with federal anti-discrimination laws.”
The Princess Martha and TJM Properties had not responded to requests for comment from McKnight’s Senior Living as of the production deadline.