Many employers have begun using physical and drug tests to screen employees to determine who can and cannot perform the job duties, and some employers are required by the federal government to regularly test their employees for drugs in accordance with the Drug-Free Workplace Act. Employers, employees, the legislature and the courts have grappled with whether such physical and drug tests are necessary or legal.
Employers may examine employees to make certain that the employees can physically and mentally perform the job duties:
Some state laws, and the Americans with Disabilities Act, place restrictions on when an employer may test an employee for drugs and what questions an employer may ask an employee regarding drug use. An employment attorney would best be able to help an employee or employer determine what questions or tests are appropriate under these laws.
Under the Federal Employee Polygraph Protection Act (29 U.S.C. § 2001), employers cannot require employees to take lie detector tests unless the employee has been accused of theft or embezzlement.
An employer may be responsible for wrongfully invading an employee's right to privacy if the required test is not closely related to the job duties. An employer may also unlawfully invade an employee's right to privacy if the required test asks extremely personal questions.
Because the law is quite detailed, an employment attorney can assist an employer with developing medical and drug testing procedures that conform to federal and state law. An attorney can also help an employee who believes that they have been tested unlawfully. The legal process for lawsuits is often quite difficult, and can be even more trying if the lawsuit is against your current employer. A lawyer can assist you with this process and help protect your rights if you continue to work for the employer during the lawsuit.
Last Modified: 06-19-2018 08:21 PM PDTLaw Library Disclaimer
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