HOUSTON – International law firm Reed Smith has successfully defended staffing firm Swift Technical Services from charges brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, that it discriminated against an employee and violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.

In its complaint and associated press release, the EEOC alleged that Swift Technical (which does business as Airswift), wrongfully terminated an employee for failing a drug test, even though the employee had asked to be retested. According to the EEOC’s complaint, the failed drug test was a “false positive” caused by the individual’s prescription medication. The EEOC alleged that Airswift’s denial to retest and subsequent termination of the employee constituted a failure to accommodate and disability discrimination in violation of the ADA.

In its responsive pleadings, Airswift challenged the EEOC’s core charge that the individual’s prescription medication could cause a “false positive.” Airswift included a sworn statement with its pleadings identifying significant roadblocks for the EEOC’s case. The statement explained the methodology the contracted lab used to conduct the drug test; and, based on that methodology, the prescription medication at issue could not, in fact, cause a “false positive.” Because the positive drug test was a “true positive,” Airswift had indisputable proof of its legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for terminating the employee. Nor did the staffing firm fail to accommodate the employee under the ADA by not granting the employee’s request for alternate testing, the court ruled.

The EEOC dismissed the suit with prejudice once it “became aware of additional facts and…decided not to pursue the case.” Reed Smith had filed responses and a motion for judgment on the pleadings. The case was dismissed on Dec. 21, 2020 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Corpus Christi Division. Michael Lombardino, an attorney with Reed Smith, served as lead counsel for Airswift in the matter.