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New York City Transit Authority v. Beazer

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Bloomberg Law

Citation. 440 U.S. 568, 99 S. Ct. 1355, 59 L. Ed. 2d 587, 1979 U.S. 77.

Brief Fact Summary. A New York City Transit Authority rule barred the employment of persons who use narcotics. The Transit Authority applied the rule to all persons taking methadone – a drug widely used in the treatment of heroine addiction.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. State legislation does not violate the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution (Constitution) merely because the classifications that it makes are imperfect.


Facts. A New York City Transit Authority rule barred the employment of persons who use narcotics. The Transit Authority applied the rule to persons taking methadone – a drug widely used in the treatment of heroine addiction. The District Court concluded that there were substantial numbers of methadone users who were just as employable as members of the general public and that the Transit Authority could have determined which users were not employable by resort to normal personnel screening procedures.

Issue. Where a substantial number of methadone users were capable of performing jobs at the Transit Authority, does the Constitution permit the Transit Authority to make a blanket exclusion of all users from all jobs at the Transit Authority?

Content Type: Brief


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