Is My Employer in California Legally Allowed to Test Me For Drugs or Alcohol?
On behalf of Rager Law Firm posted on March 16, 2018
In Los Angeles and all across California, complaints from employees about workplace alcohol and drug testing have been on the rise. Sure, it may not be the most pleasant experience when your employer conducts drug and alcohol tests on you, but is it even legal?
Today, we brought our Los Angeles employment law attorney to explain when it is legally acceptable for employers in California to conduct drug and alcohol testing on job applicants and existing employees. Here at the Rager Offices Law, our motto is “Know your employment rights. If they are violated, sue the employer.”
Drug and alcohol testing on job applicants
There are actually certain employee privacy protections in California that may help you sue your employer for conducting workplace alcohol and drug tests on you.
However, our Los Angeles employment law lawyer Jeffrey Rager warns that there are no laws or provisions that specifically prohibit employers from conducting drug testing on job applicants. Generally, employers in California are allowed to test their applicants for drugs and alcohol on a pre-employment basis as long as those tests are conducted fairly and do not discriminate against certain groups of people.
Are employees protected from workplace drug and alcohol tests?
If you are an existing employee in Los Angeles or elsewhere in California, on the other hand, there are far more employment protections that prevent employers from conducting illegal drug and alcohol tests in the workplace. Under California’s employment law, an employer is legally allowed to conduct a drug or alcohol test on an existing employee only if it meets the following requirements:
Reasonable grounds or suspicion that the employee may be drug or alcohol-impaired
The suspected drug or alcohol-impaired employee is putting his/her own safety or the safety of other employees or the general public in danger;
and The employee is legally allowed to have his alcohol or drug test samples tested by an independent drug testing facility.
A workplace drug or alcohol testing may be legally justified only if it meets all of the above-mentioned criteria, our best employment law attorneys in Los Angeles explain. In all other cases, your employer may not be legally allowed to conduct drug or alcohol testing on existing employees.
Get a free consultation about your drug/alcohol testing
Depending on the nature of your job and/or the circumstances of your particular case, there may be additional requirements for drug or alcohol testing at work. For example, the requirements for employers in the marketing or legal industries may differ from those in the healthcare, railroad, trucking, and other industries.
You may want to speak to an employment law attorney in order to find out whether or not your employer was legally allowed to conduct workplace drug or alcohol tests. Here at the Rager Offices Law, our best lawyers in Los Angeles offer a free consultation to help you understand your employment rights.