Have Employee Rights Regarding Drug Testing Changed in 2013?
New marijuana legislation means things are all aflutter across several states no recognizing medicinal and recreational pot use for the first time in 2013. But what does this mean for passing a drug test for a job?
Having to pass a drug test for any reason can be stressful, even if we have no reason to question ourselves. For those facing urine drug tests for employment especially, there are a lot of questions bouncing around without clear answers about when and how employees in certain states can be lawfully tested for drug use.
It is a common misconception that a drug test won’t apply to someone who has a legal prescription for marijuana for medicinal purposes from a doctor. Unfortunately, employers are under no obligation to agree with the law, even when the laws in any given state suggest that medicinal marijuana is legal and prescriptions are also legal. An employer has the right to go by their own internal set of guidelines and request that any employee or person in the pre-employment process pass a drug test to obtain or keep their job.
In some cases, especially with random drug testing after hire, employees feel they are being singled out. This is a common occurrence, and legal professionals will suggest that if it seems like more than mild paranoia and other coworkers seem to notice one person being “randomly” drug tested more often than others, that person may have a legal claim on their hands.
To be sure, no one can be forced to pass a drug test for employment, though they are more stringent regulations for drug testing applicants in safety related fields and in the transportation industry.
With legalization of recreational marijuana now a reality, a lot of the rules about passing a drug test in 2013 may seem like they have already changed, or will be changing soon. But because employers still hold the right to require a passing urine sample or hair drug test, what has happened in the realm of legalization scarcely matters. At least for the time being.
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