Assisted living facility wrongfully denied woman employment after a drug test, EEOC says

Share this content:
30% of nursing home residents with dementia are undernourished, new global report states
30% of nursing home residents with dementia are undernourished, new global report states

An assisted living facility in Oregon violated federal law by refusing to hire an applicant who used prescription medication, according to a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Pamila Bourasa, who was applying to be a cook at the Pioneer Place Assisted Living in Vale, says she disclosed the fact that she was taking prescription epilepsy medication that could register on an employee drug test. Bourasa says Pioneer officials had discussed a start date with her prior to the drug test, that she was told her medication's appearance on the test would not be a problem, and that she had given notice at her old job, according to the lawsuit.

The EEOC says Pioneer Place, which offers rehabilitation, assisted living and long-term skilled nursing care, violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“Ms. Bourasa informed Pioneer of her use of medication prescribed by her doctor for her disability and the likelihood that it would show up on her drug test,” said Michael Baldonado, the EEOC's San Francisco District Office director, in a statement. “Pioneer's unlawful application of its ‘drug-free workplace' policy resulted in discrimination and caused it to lose out on a capable, experienced worker.”