UPS Fires 32-Year Black Employee After Failed Drug Test Despite His Medical-Marijuana Card

The company canned him in April the first time he failed a drug test.

Terry tested positive for marijuana and amphetamines. But, as he explained to his bosses, he has a valid Arizona medical-marijuana card and a doctor’s prescription for Adderall. They wouldn’t budge.

“He’s a model employee, and all of a sudden this happens.” — Lawyer for 32-year UPS worker who was fired last year after failing a drug test.

UPS says what it did was within policy and the law.

Now Terry, a 53-year-old African-American man from Buckeye, is taking on the parcel giant in federal court.

He’s suing for alleged violations of the Americans With Disabilities Act, based on the underlying reasons for his use of medications, and for “unlawful discrimination in violation of the [Arizona Medical Marijuana Act].”

Terry was the director of sales for UPS’ Desert Mountain District, a five-state regional hub based in Phoenix. He’s also suing for sex, race, and age discrimination: UPS replaced him with a young white woman. He’s seeking back and front pay, punitive damages, and attorneys’ fees. Local attorney Chris Beams is representing him in the complaint.

“Sad — that was my take when I first heard about this,” Beams said. “He’s a model employee, and all of a sudden this happens.”

This week, the Atlanta-based company released a brief statement to Phoenix New Times about the case: “UPS policy is created and administered in a way that takes into account the interests of its employees, its customers, its shareholders and the general public. The company applied its policies in a lawful and appropriate way to this case.”

Apparently, the company accuses Terry of being impaired on the job, a claim he strongly denies. The sixth and final count of his complaint is for alleged defamation.

“UPS management and/or human resources

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