Skip to Full Menu

Providing information, education, and training to build knowledge, develop skills, and change attitudes that will lead to increased independence, productivity, self determination, integration and inclusion (IPSII) for people with developmental disabilities and their families.

Missile Plant Could Refuse To Rehire Recovering Addicts, Supreme Court Rules
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
December 11, 2003

WASHINGTON, DC--On December 2, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 7-0 that a Tucson, Arizona missile plant could legitimately refuse to rehire a former employee who claimed to have overcome his drug addiction.

But the high court sent the case of Raytheon Co. v. Hernandez back to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to determine if the company discriminated against the worker because of his disability.

The appeals court will have to decide whether Raytheon violated the Americans with Disabilities Act when it refused to rehire Joel Hernandez, a 25-year employee who quit his job in 1991 to avoid being fired when a drug test showed he had used cocaine. More than two years later, after completing a drug treatment program, Hernandez was turned down when he applied for a different job. The plant, then known as Hughes Missile Systems, cited an unwritten policy of refusing to rehire all employees fired for breaking company rules, including drug abuse.

The ADA protects former addicts from discrimination if they no longer use drugs and have been treated for their addiction.

The Supreme Court said that Hernandez failed to show that the company specifically refused to rehire him because of his disability. The appeals court will now have to re-examine the facts to determine whether Hernandez' disability was the real reason the company did not rehire him.

The case is Raytheon Co. v. Hernandez, 02-749.

Raytheon Co. v. Hernandez (U.S. Supreme Court) Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader
"National Council on Disability says partial victory in Supreme Court's Hernandez V. Raytheon Decision" (NCD news release)


©2018 The Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities
 370 Centennial Office Building  658 Cedar Street   St. Paul, Minnesota 55155 
Phone: 651.296.4018   Toll-free number: 877.348.0505   MN Relay Service: 800.627.3529 OR 711   Fax: 651.297.7200 
Email:   View Privacy Policy   An Equal Opportunity Employer 

The GCDD is funded under the provisions of P.L. 106-402. The federal law also provides funding to the Minnesota Disability Law Center,the state Protection and Advocacy System, and to the Institute on Community Integration, the state University Center for Excellence. The Minnesota network of programs works to increase the IPSII of people with developmental disabilities and families into community life.