Bartz Law Group

Employee Rights Advocates

Drug and Alcohol Testing and Employments Pt. 2

Employments PT 2

As a job applicant you ensure that you adhere to all necessary requirements in order for you to increase your chances of being employed. This may include subjecting yourself to psychometric tests, medical tests, etc. However, in some instances an employer may make it a requirement for job applicants to take drug tests as part of the final stage of the selection process. This article will discuss the job applicant’s decision in respect of such a test and the job applicant’s legal rights.

The previous article discussed some of the reasons employers may administer drug tests to potential job applicants. Further, it noted that because of the intrusive nature of drug testing there are laws that limit when a drug test may be carried out, the way the drug test may be carried out and whether it can be carried out. As with most workplace circumstances, current employees have more rights in the area of drug testing as compared to job applicants as a refusal to take a drug test may mean they lose the chance of getting the job. If you feel that your rights as an employee have been violated, follow the link lawyer to sue my employer for legal advice and representation.

The reality is that a prospective employer cannot force a potential employee to take a drug test. However, it is within their legal right to make it a general requirement or condition of employment; only if they follow the rules. If you personally feel that you do not want to take a drug test you can mention this and take yourself out of the race for the job.

Take note of the legal limitations that are applicable with regards to applicant drug testing:

  • Disability discrimination claims – applicants that take medication for a disability are protected from discrimination by way of the provision of the Americans with Disabilities Act. There are some prescribed medications that may turn up on a drug test. Further, some drugs that are known to be illegal, such as opiates, may be legally prescribed by medical doctors for specific medical conditions. Therefore, in the event that a job applicant is rejected on the basis of a positive drug test for medication that they are legally prescribed in respect of a disability then the company can be held liable for damages.
  • Other claims of discrimination – where a company chooses to single out specific groups of applicants based on, for example, their race or disability, for drug testing it is likely that the company will face claims for discrimination. If testing is a necessity the employer may focus on specific job classifications where testing is a requirement, for example, job positions that are safety-sensitive. However, the employer would then test all job applicants for that specific job classification or position.
  • Violation of required state procedures – in as much as all states allow job applicant drug testing, most states have in place procedural and other requirements that must be adhered to. For example, in some states drug testing is only allowed after the applicant has been given an offer of employment based on passing the drug test.
  • Applicant privacy must not be violated to conduct the test.