United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING ON MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
JEFFREY ALKER MEYER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Robert Carle worked as a foreman for defendant Red Thread
Spaces, LLC, a company that installs office furniture and
builds cubicles. After plaintiff tested positive for
marijuana in 2013, the company suspended him without pay
until he could provide a clean drug test. He never did so. He
failed a second test. He adulterated the sample for his third
test. And then he altogether failed to appear for the fourth
scheduled test. Not surprisingly, the company terminated
has filed this lawsuit claiming that the company's
termination of his employment was a violation of his rights
under the federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). I do not
agree. Accordingly, I will grant the company's motion for
following facts are either agreed upon by both parties or
presented in the light most favorable to plaintiff as the
non-moving party. Plaintiff worked for defendant as an
installation foreman, and he was responsible for driving
delivery vehicles. Doc. #30, ¶ 3. He understood that his
position qualified as “safety-sensitive” by the
Connecticut Department of Labor, and that he was prohibited
from using marijuana by defendant's Anti-Drug and Alcohol
Misuse Policy (“drug policy”) and subject to
random urinalysis drug testing. See Docs. #30,
¶¶ 5-7; #36-4 at 28.
to the drug policy, “any safety-sensitive employee who
has tested positive for drug use or alcohol misuse during a
random drug screen or alcohol test [must] be immediately
suspended without pay and evaluated by a Substance Abuse
Professional.” Doc. #31-2 at 20, 28- 29. The substance
abuse professional might then make a recommendation of a
course of substance abuse treatment or education, with which
the employee must comply. See Id. at 20. If
the professional has determined “employee compliance
with all education and/or treatment recommendations, the
employee may then submit to a return to duty drug and/or
alcohol test. This testing must be performed and negative
results must be on file with the [designated employer
representative] prior to the employee returning to
safety-sensitive duties. If a return to duty test is
cancelled, the employee must submit to an additional test,
and a negative result must be on file prior to returning to
safety-sensitive duties.” Ibid.
respect to termination, the drug policy provides that
“[a]ny safety-sensitive employee who has a confirmed
positive drug screen result more than one time during any 36
month period will face immediate termination of
employment.” Id. at 28. The policy does not
exempt from the 36-month period any term of mandatory
suspension on account of an initial positive drug screen
result. In addition, “[a]ny safety sensitive employee
who refuses to take a required drug test will be subject to
immediate disciplinary action up to termination.”
The policy provides several definitions for refusal to take a
An employee is considered to have refused a drug test if that
employee: . . .
Does not report for any test . . . within the reasonable time
frame set by [defendant] after being notified of the test;
[or] . . .
Does not take an additional drug test when directed by
[defendant] or the drug screen collector . . . .
Additionally, if the Medical Review Officer determines that
the employee's urine specimen was adulterated or
substituted, it would be considered a refusal to test.
Id. at 26. The drug policy defines
“adulterated specimen” as a “urine specimen
containing a substance that is not a normal constituent or
containing an endogenous substance at a concentration that is
not a normal physiological concentration.” Id.
subjected plaintiff to a random drug test on November 6,
2013. Because plaintiff used marijuana on an almost daily
basis, it came as no surprise that plaintiff tested positive
for marijuana. See Doc. #30, ¶¶ 12-13. In
accordance with the company's drug policy, defendant
issued plaintiff a written advisory explaining that he was
immediately suspended without pay, required him to see a
substance abuse professional, and prohibited him from
returning to work until he yielded a negative drug test.
Docs. #30, ¶¶ 14-15; #31-2 at 53. Although
defendant gave plaintiff paperwork indicating in handwriting
that “FMLA has been approved, ” plaintiff had ...