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Harrison v. Benchmark Electronics Huntsville, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
593 F.3d 1206 (11th Cir. 2010)


Facts

John Harrison (plaintiff) began working as a temporary employee at Benchmark Electronics Huntsville, Inc. (BEHI) (defendant), in November 2005. Harrison’s supervisor, Don Anthony, encouraged Harrison to apply for a permanent position at BEHI. On May 19, 2006, Harrison submitted an application and took a routine preemployment drug test. Harrison tested positive for barbiturates. Anthony learned of the positive testing and questioned Harrison about the results. Harrison informed Anthony that he had a prescription for the barbiturates. Anthony had Harrison provide information regarding the prescription to a medical-review officer (MRO) over the phone while Anthony remained in the room. Harrison disclosed to the MRO that he took barbiturates to control his epilepsy. Anthony subsequently instructed BEHI’s human-resources department not to offer Harrison the job. On May 3, 2007, Harrison sued BEHI in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, claiming that BEHI had made a preemployment medical inquiry prohibited by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), 42 U.S.C. § 12112. The district court granted BEHI summary judgment, based in part on the ground that BEHI was entitled to ask follow-up questions after Harrison’s positive drug test to determine whether Harrison had a legitimate reason to take barbiturates. Harrison appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Siler, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
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