If I work for an airline, can it mandate that I provide the prescription drugs that I’m taking?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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If I work for an airline, can it mandate that I provide the prescription drugs that I’m taking?

Recently there was an incident at work in which I fell asleep at my desk. Due

to an illness not prescription medication. Now they are mandated that after

then incident for my safety I should disclose what medications I am taking to

my supervisor. I don’t think they can do that as it violates the ADA but I don’t

know as I do work for an airline.


Asked on March 13, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Maryland


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Yes, they can do this, because it is not based on you simply having some medical condition, but on your demonstrated behavior at work (falling asleep), which could be due to your medication. Bear in mind that they could simply fire you right off the bat for falling asleep at work (unless, that is, you have a written employment contract, including a union agreement, preventing that), because the default (in the absence of a written contract) is that employent is "employment at will." Since they could simply fire you (or suspend you, demote you, reduce you to part time, transfer you/change your job, etc.), by inquiring into the cause of your falling asleep at work, an act which affects your job and therefore your employer, they are actually taking a more nuanced or reasonable stance than they legally have to. You can refuse to provide this information, but in light of you falling asleep at work, they could then most likely effect terminate you.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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