This is the next post in my series regarding the process an Arizona professional faces when defending their license in a disciplinary action. My last post discussed the differences between a professional license hearing and a criminal trial. It is important for individuals to understand that disciplinary actions will be heard by a peer or peers with a wide range of discretion. In this post I will look at issues which arise when one if facing allegations of drug use.
A licensing board is within their right to take action against professionals who use illegal drugs or who tests positive for the use of drugs. Furthermore, boards are within their rights to conduct drug-testing as a condition of admission to the profession. They may not, however, exclude individuals from a profession if the individual has been successfully rehabilitated from drug use. This means that former drug addicts, who wish to enter a profession such as psychology, therapy, accounting, etc. have rights they may assert if they are being denied a license on the basis of past drug use.
Professionals are protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) if they are facing disciplinary action while attending a drug rehabilitation program. Under the ADA, one is considered to be suffering from a “qualified disability” if they are no longer engaging in drug use and are engaging in treatment (whether inpatient or outpatient). This means that, hypothetically, one is currently under conditions which give them a qualified disability, and drug related accusations are brought by the licensing board, then the board must recognize the disability as part of the process. For individuals who are in the process of turning their lives around, this aspect of the law can be crucial.
It is important to understand that many professional licensing boards are willing to give members the opportunity to correct their situations. Depending on the severity of the allegations, many boards may be willing to allow a member to remove themselves from the profession in order to seek treatment. It is common for such individuals to be placed on probation or some sort of monitoring so that they can keep their license and continue to work. his approach presents another option for those who are worried about losing their professional license due to drug use.
I assist Phoenix residents, and others in Maricopa County, with defending professional licenses against accusations of misconduct. If you are facing disciplinary proceedings, due to drug use, ten you require legal representation. Contact my office today to speak with a lawyer. Contact my office today to schedule an initial consultation. I also handle cases in cities such as Mesa, Glendale, Scottsdale, Chandler, and Gilbert. I also assist Pima County residents in Tucson and others throughout the state.