Every state allows employers to drug test job applicants at the time of hire. If an employer requires drug testing, they must follow certain procedures to prevent discrimination and to ensure that testing samples are subject to strict quality control.
Drug Testing for Job Applicants
Most states will allow applicant testing if the applicant knows the testing will be part of the screening process when they are offered the job. All applicants should be tested similarly in the same job and all tests should be administered by a state certified laboratory.
Some job applicants worry that a prescription drug test will trigger a positive result affecting their chances of getting a job. However, typically, unless the prescribed drug would adversely affect a candidate’s ability to safely perform a job, they will likely be protected.
If a job applicant has been prescribed medication, they will have an opportunity to discuss their prescription drug use with a medical officer before, during, or after a drug test, providing a copy of the prescription for the record.
Drug Testing Current Employees
Generally speaking, a private employer must demonstrate a good reason for testing a current employee, which might include concerns about an employee posing a safety hazard on the job. If an employer suspects that an accident could have been caused because an employee was impaired, courts generally support a test.
Many states allow drug testing for employees during and after an employee’s participation in a drug rehab program. Many also allow employers to conduct unannounced testing of employees selected from an entire workforce, all full time employees at one site, or all employees in safety sensitive positions to avoid discrimination.
Refusing a Workplace Drug Test
Employees can refuse to drug test, but may face termination as a result. Often times, an employer only needs to show they had good reason to believe the employee presented a safety hazard on the job or was unable to perform their duties to make a request.
However, if an employee can show they were treated differently than other employees in the same position they may have legal recourse. An employee might also argue that an employee’s suspicions regarding drug use were unreasonable in that there was no direct observation of drug use or physical symptoms; no abnormal conduct; no independent corroboration of a witness to drug use; or evidence that the employee caused a work accident leading up to the testing requirement.
Drug Test Results Not Accurate
If an employee submits to a drug test resulting in an unfair employment action such as termination, suspension or demotion, an employee can argue that the testing did not meet the testing procedures set out under state law. If you have been wrongly terminated after taking a drug test, it is worthwhile to discuss your situation with an experienced Wisconsin employment law attorney. Contact our wrongful termination attorneys at Alan C. Olson & Associates for help at 262-785-9606.