What Are My Legal Rights As An Employee On Drug Testing

 In California, an employer is obligated to perform drug testing for any job applicant. At times, the testing is conducted even when there is no apparent reason why one is being tested for taking drugs. However, employers sometimes tend to take advantage of employees when conducting drug testing during the employment application process. This doesn’t mean that drug testing is illegal. You have a right to privacy when such a test is being conducted. If a drug test was conducted during an employment process, and you feel you were singled out among other applicants, you may have a legal case.


When Should A Drug Test Be Conducted On Employees

 Employers conduct drug tests because they are the ones to be responsible if an employee injures others at the workplace. Drug testing can be conducted on a prospective applicant or even existing employees. For job applicants, the employer can only conduct a drug test after making a job offer. If a prospective applicant accepts the offer, only then can their prospective employer conduct a drug test. If you have been subjected to a drug testing and later finds out your employer has failed to hire you based on a protected class such as race color or certain disability, you need to look for labor lawyers in Orange County. Again, the right to have an employee tested on drugs doesn’t have to be random, or any time the employer thinks to perform the tests. There are certain situations where such drug testing may be illegal. For instance, an employee who uses marijuana for medical reasons should not be singled out when a drug testing is conducted. If an employee doesn’t have a valid reason for the use of marijuana, the employer may refuse to hire them. A legal drug testing can be conducted where:

  • The employer has a reasonable ground to believe that you use drugs: In such a case, a drug test may be conducted on you. Every employer should have a well-documented policy that can justify any drug testing conducted.
  • The condition of the position one is applying for: The employer should ensure to screen all candidates for that particular position. Some of these positions include health and safety or law enforcement officers.

Employees have legal rights that should not be infringed against when an employer is conducting drug test. If this is not the case, one may have several legal claims: Some of them may arise from:

  • Be discriminated against your disability: According to the Americans with Disability Act (ADA), an employee taking drugs due to a medical disability is protected by the law. Most of the drugs used on mental disability are considered illegal to an average person and may turn positive for any drug test. Drug testing has to be carefully considered not to infringe on employee rights of privacy.
  • Wrongful discharge: Your employer is under no obligation to wrongfully discharge you after illegal drug testing. In such a way, an employee can file a wrongful discharge claim. One way that may result to a claim is when an employer may deprive of an employee the right to explain their drug testing results. A medical doctor may review the results in a case where one claims to use the drug for medical reasons.
  • Drug testing results should not be disclosed to a third party or another employer without the employee’s consent: Even though an employer is obligated to conduct drug testing, he/she should not do anything to violate the employee’s privacy.  State regulations concerning drug testing should be followed.
  • Defamation: Any employer who gets drug test results and later uses them to give false information that could harm employee’s reputation could be doing so against the law. In such a case, a defamation lawsuit may be brought against such an employer

 As an employee, California State gives you some reasonable measure of protection from any unfair drug testing. If your employer is not abiding by drug testing laws, he/she may be liable for damages.  The legal environment of drug testing is transparent when it comes to defining permissible drug testing programs. Not only does the law mandate the testing, but it also gives directives as to the conditions under which drug testing may be conducted.  Failure to this breeds the nasty legal consequences of the employer.


 Seeking Legal Help

 If your employer has conducted illegal drug testing, which has cost your job or reputation, you need to seek monetary damages. Seeking compensation for your discrimination, defamation, or any other illegal act may require the help of a lawyer who is conversant with such cases. A lawyer who is aware of the California employment laws will ensure you get the best compensation. To get the process kick up faster and get the compensation you deserve, you can consider speaking with a qualified labor lawyer.