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View Summary
 
State of Alabama Personnel Board and James Hurst
vs.
State Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation


Click Here to Read the Full Case Summary
 
Issues:
Reasonable suspicion, marijuana, refusal, public employee, policy and procedure.
 
Case Summary:
James Hurst, a former employee of the state's department of mental health appeals a court ruling that upheld his dismissal. Department officials terminated Hurst's employment after he refused to submit to a drug test based on reasonable suspicion. During an internal investigation of drug use, several employees and patients told department officials that Hurst sold marijuana on department property. Department officials terminated Hurst for misconduct for refusing to submit to the drug test. A state review board ordered the department to reinstate Hurst with back pay.
 
Decision of lower jurisdiction:
A circuit court ruled in favor of the department, concluding that Hurst violated established policy. The state review board and Hurst now appeal.
 
Outcome:
Hurst loses. The Alabama Court of Civil Appeals affirmed the ruling of the district court. The appeals court ruled that department officials acted appropriately when they requested Hurst to submit to a drug test. Hurst's refusal to comply with the request was grounds for dismissal, the court ruled.