Is Random Drug Testing Legal?

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For most private companies, random drug testing is legal according to both state and federal laws. As long as your company does not violate other laws or protections when administering its own drug testing policy, they are in the clear. However, there are times when companies end up discriminating against employees or end up violating their rights with the way that they conduct their tests. If something like this happens to you, you need to fight back with the help of a Midlothian employment attorney.

Do Federal or State Laws Require Drug Testing?

For most industries, neither state nor federal law requires a company to have a random drug testing policy. So companies can set their own policies as long as they do not violate other laws and regulations. A company also should tell its employees about the policy.

When Can Employers Drug Test You?

Employers can set up an entirely random schedule for testing, but they can also have certain criteria for testing certain employees at certain times. For example, they could test:

  • New employees when they are brought on board
  • Employees that were involved in a recent workplace accident
  • Employees that are suspected of doing drugs
  • Employees who have recently completed a rehabilitation program

How strict a company is with its drug testing policy can also vary. Some industries have their own standards for it, while others are more lax and put most of the power in an individual company’s hands.

What Can Be the Penalties for Failing Random Drug Testing?

What happens to an employee that fails a random drug test is largely left at their employer’s discretion. There could be a warning issued or an employee could be fired outright. These punishments should also be laid out clearly for employees along with the rest of the company’s drug testing policy.

What If the Random Drug Testing Policy Is Unclear?

When a company has a drug testing policy, it should disclose it to its employees. Most put the policy in the new hire’s employee handbook. There are times when a company could be sued over its random drug testing policy, even though both state and federal laws allow them to test their employees. Common issues include:

Discrimination: Maybe only certain employees were randomly tested and there is a clear racial, gender, or age bias.

Invasion of privacy: The test was not carried out in the way it should have been or drug test results were made public.

Defamation: You got a false positive on a drug test and your employer publicized it, harming your reputation.

How Can an Employment Lawyer Help Me?

If you believe that your rights have been violated, contact Passero Employment Law. A consultation with our experienced employment attorney can help you learn more about the potential value of your case and your next steps. See what our lawyer can do to assist you today.

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