Are Pre-Employment Drug Tests Mandatory?
Oklahoma provides the right to employers to request a drug test from employees when they deem necessary.
Employees and employment candidates are often shocked when an employer asks them to take a drug test. Some even wonder if it is an infringement on their rights. In Oklahoma City, employers are allowed to ask for drug tests from current employees, as well as individuals that are applying for a job. Should an employee fail the drug test, employers in the state also have the right to refuse a potential candidate employment, or to fire current employees.
Employment Drug Testing in Oklahoma City
Employers in Oklahoma City have the right to require employees to submit to a drug test as a condition of employment. There are several circumstances that may prompt an employer to ask for such a test. These include:
- After a workplace accident that caused injury or property damage
- As an extension of a rehabilitation program
- As part of a routine fitness exam to ensure employees are capable of performing a job
Due to the fact that employers can randomly ask employees for a drug test, they can require employees to undergo these tests at their discretion. This includes when they believe that an employee is under the influence of drugs at work.
Legal Claims Arising from Employment Drug Testing
Although employers in Oklahoma have the right to require drug testing of their employees, workers still have certain rights. When those rights are violated, employees may file a legal claim. Instances in which employees may have a valid claim include when:
- The employer violated state laws: Oklahoma has very specific laws regarding employment drug testing. When employers violate these requirements, employees may take legal action.
- Disability discrimination: Some employees may take certain medications, such as opioids, that will show up on a drug test. When an employee is taking these drugs due to a disability, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects employees from job loss and from being turned down as a candidate of employment.
- Additional discrimination claims: Employers cannot discriminate against their employees in any capacity. When the only employees required to take a drug test fall into a protected class based on their nationality, race, religion, or otherwise, employers can be held liable.
- Privacy invasion claims: Employers must conduct drug testing in a way that protects the rights of their employees. For example, employees must be allowed to take the test in private and cannot be forced to disrobe or take a test in front of other people.
- Defamation: Employers should not publicize the fact that an employee took a test and failed it, particularly when they knew, or should have known, that the test was inaccurate. When they do, wronged employees may have a defamation claim for damage to their reputation.
Anyone that has a claim arising from drug testing should speak to a lawyer that can help ensure a positive outcome.
Our Oklahoma Employment Lawyers are Here to Help
If your employer has required that you take a drug test and while doing so they violated your rights, it is important that you speak to an Oklahoma City employment lawyer today. At the Law Firm of Boettcher, Devinney, Ingle & Wicker, our attorneys have extensive knowledge with this area of law and know how to hold employers and companies accountable for their actions. Call us today at (405) 886-9660 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation with one of our attorneys.