Employment-Third Circuit Holds That Termination Of Employment For Dishonesty On The Employment Application About History Of Dug Addiction Does Not Violate The ADA

In Reilly v. Lehigh Valley Hospital, No. 12-2078 (3rd Cir. 2013), the plaintiff, Robert Reilly (“Reilly”), was appealing the district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendant, Lehigh Valley Hospital (“LVH”), on Reilly’s disability discrimination claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act (the “ADA”) and similar state law.

In this case, Reilly was employed by LVH as a part-time Security Officer from August 2006, until May 2, 2008. After receiving a conditional employment offer, Reilly completed and signed a six-page employee health information form (the “Employment Form”) as part of LVH’s hiring process. The final two questions on the Employment Form inquired as to whether Reilly had ever been recognized as having, or had ever been treated for, alcoholism or drug addiction. Reilly answered “no” to both questions. He signed the Employment Form, subject to the condition that falsifying of this information could result in withdrawal of the employment offer or if subsequently discovered termination of his employment.

Reilly subsequently disclosed to LVH that he has a history of narcotics use and is a recovering drug addict. On May 2, 2008, LVH terminated Reilly’s employment, on the basis of his being untruthful about prior drug addiction on the Employment Form. Reilly subsequently brought this suit against LVH, alleging disability-based employment discrimination in violation of the ADA and similar state law. After reviewing the case, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals (the “Court”) concluded LVH articulated a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for terminating Reilly – his dishonesty on the Employment Form – and Reilly failed to produce sufficient evidence to show that this reason was pretextual and a cover for discrimination. As such, the Court affirmed the district court’s summary judgment in LTV’s favor.