Drug Testing in the Workplace
Workplace Drug Testing Employee Rights and Concerns (Cont.)
Part 4 of 4 is below. Part 4 explains some of the reasons that employees might be entitled to file workplace drug testing lawsuits. It also provides links for employers and employees to learn more about drug testing in the workplace. The next two pages list drug detection times and drug cutoff levels.
About Workplace Drug Testing Lawsuits
You might be able to challenge workplace drug testing in general or a specific, related disciplinary action through a lawsuit in court. Below are a few of the reasons why. Some were previously mentioned, but they're mentioned again in case you skipped over them to this section.
Generally, state drug testing laws (and municipal equivalents) are lacking, partly because they are still evolving. Some states have yet to even enact workplace drug testing laws at this writing, despite that employers in the states have been drug testing employees for years.
In either case, it opens the doors for employer abuse. It's worsened by the fact that some employers don't even bother to follow guidelines established by workplace drug testing laws in states (and municipalities) that have them.
Many legal professionals oppose random drug testing in the workplace, because they consider it to be a personal privacy invasion and an unreasonable search and seizure, contrary to our rights granted by the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
Under today's random drug testing standards in many states, employers may force employees to prove their innocence even when there's no suspicion of guilt, by simply drawing names from a hat. In other words, employees are essentially guilty of illegal drug abuse until proven innocent, contrary to their rights granted by the "innocent until proven guilty" principle of U.S. justice.
Today's drug testing in the workplace doesn't prove that employees are impaired while working. It proves only that employees "did" drugs in the recent past, but not necessarily while on the job or just before going to work. Many opponents of workplace drug testing believe that employee drug use is none of an employer's business in the legal sense, if employees aren't doing drugs in the workplace and aren't impaired on the job.
If you fail a workplace drug test and get fired for violating your employer's drug-use policy, a court will consider all factors involved, to determine if your employer truly had good cause to so-seriously discipline you for policy violation. This is especially true under workplace drug testing laws that encourage or require employers to allow offenders to choose a substance-abuse treatment program instead of employment termination.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), "All employers, even those with well-intentioned programs, can face court challenges to their Drug-Free Workplace policy based on questions of negligence (negligent hiring, supervision, libel and slander), contract law, and discrimination (racial, sexual, and disability)."
Subsequently, employees have filed workplace drug testing lawsuits and won, even after they tested positive for drugs. Consult a lawyer about filing a workplace drug testing lawsuit.
More Information about Workplace Drug Testing
Collectively, the following government resources provide more information about drug testing in the workplace for both private- and public-sector employers and employees, and Federal government contractors.
For legal advice regarding workplace drug testing, consult a lawyer. Whether you're an employer or employee, only a lawyer can give you legal advice that fits your particular situation.
Next Page > Drug Detection Time for Drug Testing in the Workplace
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