Yes.  Employee drug tests are legal in a variety of situations.  You may be tested:

  • Before you are hired
  • If your employer has reasonable suspicion that you are using drugs
  • After an accident at work where drug use is a possible cause
  • Randomly

Can I be Fired for Failing a Drug Test?

Yes.  An employer reserves the right to terminate your employment if you fail a drug test.  However, there are certain rights that you have as an employee.  These rights include being given notice of the test and having the test conducted in an approved laboratory.  Additionally, employee drug test results may not be shared with a third party.

If I am Fired for Failing a Drug Test, Can I Collect Unemployment?

If you fail a drug test, you may not be able to collect unemployment from your state.  In many states, such as Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Idaho, you are not eligible to receive unemployment benefits.  Other states, such as Missouri, have laws making it more difficult to receive unemployment if you were terminated for a positive drug test.

What Should I Do if I am Denied Unemployment Benefits as a Result of Termination Based on a Failed Drug Test?

If you are fired for failing a drug test and then are denied unemployment benefits as a result, you should contact an employment attorney.  They will be familiar with your state’s laws on unemployment benefits and will help protect your rights.  For example, they may be able to get you unemployment benefits by helping you comply with certain state provisions such as enrolling in a drug or alcohol rehab program.