Drug Testing At Work

April 18, 2013 · by rosenblumlawfirm · in

Drug Free Workplace Sign

I Was Drug Tested While At My Job In New Jersey, Is This Legal?

The rights and privileges of an employee in the American work force are quite vast when compared to that of different countries.  However, even in our democratic society, injustice can’t be 100% out of the realm of possibility.  One notable topic on the minds of employees is the subject of workplace drug testing and questions that go along with it.

Can an employer legally conduct drug tests on their employees either randomly or in a scheduled fashion?

According to federal guidelines followed by the State of New Jersey, an employer has the right to conduct a drug test when there is reasonable suspicion that an employee is using drugs.  In certain cases the New Jersey Supreme Court has granted employers the right to randomly drug test employees.  An example of this would be the testing of an employee working in a hazardous work environment, and in other cases where safety is a big priority.

What Are My Rights?

Employers may have the right to drug test employees on the grounds of reasonable suspicion, but this does not give an employer free reign to harass their employees under the name of drug testing.  There are specific situations where it a drug test is conducted in an unfair and illegal manner.

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, employees are protected if they are taking medication for a disability.  If an employee with a disability is fired from a company as a result of a positive drug test based off of drugs that are being used for a treated condition that are legally prescribed to them, that person has the grounds to sue the companyIf an employee finds himself or herself singled out for drug testing on the basis of race, ethnicity, or gender that person has the grounds to sue for discrimination.

Invasion of privacy can be another claim basis for an employee to sue their employer.  A clear example would be if an employee is forced to give a urine sample in front of their employer.  If your employer publishes false information about you or fabricates the test results to make them appear positive this might be the basis of a legal claim.

What Can Attorney Do For Me?

Before consenting to a drug test, a good tip would be to consult with a lawyer.  An attorney can help you understand the potential risks involved in taking a drug test.   If you find that your rights have been violated, the best course of action would be to contact an attorney that will help protect your rights and make sure that your employer is treating you fairly.