Methadone Treatment & Employment


District Court rules on cross motions for summary judgment

On August 5, 2013, the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania denied the plaintiff’s motion for partial summary judgment.

The motion, filed by the plaintiff against Pennsylvania and the State Board of Nursing on November 20, 2012, contended that the Board illegally suspended Ms. Melinda Reynolds’ nursing license after learning she was undergoing methadone maintenance treatment to overcome her drug dependency.

The plaintiff’s motion claimed that the board’s policy violated the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans, since it discriminated against individuals suffering from disability when it denied Ms. Reynolds the benefits that licensed nurses receive in Pennsylvania.

Individuals recovering from drug addiction are considered persons of disability under the RA and ADA.

However, the district court granted the defense’s motion for summary judgment and ruled that the Board did not suspend Ms. Reynolds’ nursing license solely because she was in the treatment program for her addiction to opiate drugs.

The court stated in its decision, “Reynolds’ license was suspended because she violated several provisions of the consent agreement, not merely because she failed to detox from methadone.”

The Law Center will consider appealing the court’s ruling.

Click here to read the full decision.