A nurse from the Poconos who has been denied a nursing license because she takes methadone can sue the state licensing bureau for refusing to issue her a license, a federal judge in Scranton has ruled.
In a 28-page memorandum and order, U.S. District Court Judge James M. Munley denied a motion to dismiss the suit filed by Melinda Lamberson Reynolds of Pocono Summit against the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, its Department of State, and Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs.
The suit, filed Oct. 5 in the U.S. Middle District of Pennsylvania, states that Ms. Reynolds can't work as a nurse unless she is licensed and she can't get a license because of a "secret" policy of refusing to license a nurse who is in a methadone maintenance program.
According to the suit, Ms. Reynolds suffers from a "chronic opioid drug dependency," and has been on a methadone maintenance treatment program in Bethlehem since 2004.
The suit says Ms. Reynolds' drug problem is a disability that is being treated with methadone. Because the "secret" policy bars anyone taking methadone from getting a license, the suit claims the unwritten policy violates the Americans with Disabilities Act.
June 24, 2010
Joe McDonald (Staff Writer)