Employers are largely given free reign by federal statute to ask potential or current employees for drug tests. While D.C. mandates that employers in certain job fields such as transportation, aviation, and NASA or DoD contractors must test employees for drugs, employers are otherwise left to their own devices vis-à-vis testing. In many cases, state and local laws determine whether testing is required.
Employees Still have Rights
Texas uniquely has no state regulations governing an employer's right to require a drug test when it comes to private employers. This means your employer or potential employer can ask you to take a drug test at any time.
This does not mean employers who do so may abrogate other regulations:
- Disability discrimination—those with a disability may be taking medication which can give a false positive on a drug test
- General discrimination—no employer can single out only a group for testing based on anything such as race, age, or gender
- Invasion of privacy—employers must go about testing individuals in an appropriate manner which respects their general right to privacy
- Defamation—employers may not publicize a false positive result or they may be liable for a defamation claim
The Texas Workforce Commission has weighed in when it comes to unemployment insurance claims made by former employees who were fired as a result of a company's drug policies. Companies must submit their drug policies with the former employee's signed acknowledgement of them with evidence that the employee had consented to drug testing and documentation regarding the custody of the test sample.
If you have been forced to take a drug test and wish to contest the results or feel that your rights were violated in the process of tasting, you have recourse to a skilled drug crime attorney who can fight for your rights.