There are few limits placed on conducting drug testing in the workplace by federal or state law. While the federal government may mandate drug testing for some safety-sensitive sectors like aviation, there are no federal laws that otherwise require or prohibit drug testing by employers.
In Oklahoma, employers are allowed to require employees to take drug tests at random or for cause. Oklahoma employees injured in a workplace accident may be asked to submit to a drug test to determine if a controlled substance played any part in their accident. Some Oklahoma employers may require this, and it is their right to do so if they have a written policy in place and employees have been notified about it at least 30 days prior to testing.
In addition, employers can require drug tests as part of a routine physical exam that may be required as a condition of employment or as a follow-up exam to an employee’s rehabilitation program. If an employer has a reasonable belief that an employee is working under the influence of drugs, the employer is allowed to drug test that employee.
Although it may seem that employers may do as they wish when it comes to drug testing, employees may have legal claims based on one or more of the following:
State law violations. Any drug or alcohol policy affecting Oklahoma employees must comply with the state’s Standards for Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing Act. The policy must be posted in the workplace and a copy personally delivered to each employee in person or via email or mail. Employers must pay for testing and offer an assistance program to all employees.
Invasion of privacy. If the manner in which the drug test was conducted violated the privacy of an employee, that employee may have a valid claim against his or her employer.
Discrimination. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), an employee or job applicant taking medication for a disability that causes them to fail a drug test is protected against discrimination in hiring or employment. In addition, any employer that singles out a protected group of employees -- e.g., by race, age, religion, or gender -- could be liable for a discrimination claim.
Defamation. If an employer lets it be known that an employee failed a drug test even though that employer knew or had reason to know the test was inaccurate, the employee may have a valid claim for defamation.
If your employer has violated your rights, contact our experienced attorneys today. We will work tirelessly to hold your employer accountable and protect your rights in the workplace. Please call Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. today at 918-582-2500, toll free at (800) 722-8880, or contact us online for a free consultation with an experien