Complaint Fails to State Title VII, ADA Claim Based on (Unspecified) Race, Criminal Conviction, or Drug Test

From McClarence v. International Union of Operating Engineers Local Union, 2017 WL 3887883, at *2 (E.D.N.Y., 2017):

In this case, McClarence’s complaint fails to state a claim under Title VII. McClarence has asserted a bare-bones claim that he was discriminated against on the basis of race or color, but has not identified himself as a member of a protected class based on race, nor presented any facts indicating that he was discriminated against on the basis of his membership in a protected class. Indeed, the only explanations he provides for why he was terminated or failed to be reinstated to union membership are the result of a drug test and a past criminal conviction. (Compl. at 4-5.) Neither of these factors indicate membership in a suspect class that is protected under federal anti-discrimination laws. Title VII and the Americans with Disabilities Act do not protect against employment discrimination based upon a prior conviction.2 See McCoy v. People Care Inc., No. 11-CV-2689 (RA), 2013 WL 5313433, at *5 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 20, 2013); Idlisan v. N.Y.S. Dep’t of Taxation & Fin., No. 12-CV-1787 (MAD) (CFH), 2013 WL 2898050, at *4 (N.D.N.Y. June 13, 2013); Tubbs v. N.Y.C. Parks Dep’t (JTP) Parks Opportunity Arsenal W., No. 12-CV-3322 (CBA) (VMS), 2012 WL 4838439, at *1 (E.D.N.Y. Oct. 10, 2012); see also 42 U.S.C. §§ 12112-12117. Moreover, “courts consistently conclude that an employee’s failure of a drug test constitutes a legitimate nondiscriminatory reason for terminating the employee.”

The court noted that while federal law does not prohibit discrimination based on a prior conviction, such a claim may be asserted under the New York State Human Rights Law.

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