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Can My Employer Make Me Take a Drug Test?

Urine strip test laid over tests results

Many employees have drug testing policies in place. After all, employers do not want to hire workers who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. As an employee, you may wonder about your rights when it comes to employment drug testing. Can your employer randomly test you for drugs? If so, can you refuse a test?

The laws for drug testing vary from state to state. Some require written policies, while others require signs posted throughout the workplace. Some even require substance abuse training.

If you are employed in New York, can you be tested for drugs at any time? Read on to understand your rights.

New York Laws Regarding Drug Testing

 New York State law makes it illegal for workers to use alcohol and drugs while on the job. Therefore, if the employer has reasonable suspicion to believe that an employee is using drugs or alcohol while on the job, they can demand a drug test. What is considered reasonable suspicion? If an employee is seen using drugs while at work or seems emotionally unstable—acting erratically, displaying outbursts, or seeming unusually moody—the employer may demand a drug test.

An employer cannot make you take a drug test. However, if the employee refuses or fails the drug test, he or she can be fired or face other disciplinary actions. A State employee may also be referred to the Employee Assistance Program.

Testing can be done as often as the employer requires. There is no limit to the frequency of periodic drug tests. An employer can test annually, several times a year, monthly, or even weekly if they so desire. They can request drug tests before offering employment, and they can request one after a workplace accident.

The main restriction is that drug testing cannot be done in a discriminatory manner. For example, if an employer is requiring drug tests from women only, or just requiring that one person submits to testing for no apparent reason, then the testing is considered illegal. The same goes for testing that invades one’s privacy or that causes defamation. This would mean that an employee could not be forced to take the test in front of others. If they fail the test, the employer could not broadcast the results to others to defame the person’s character.

Contact a New York Employment Law Attorney

 There are no clear-cut laws regarding drug testing in New York. If your employer has reason to believe that you may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you could be forced to take a drug test at any time, as long as there are no issues in regards to how the test is conducted.

New York promotes a workplace free of drugs and alcohol. If you believe you were tested illegally, contact experienced New York employment law attorneys at Ricotta & Marks, P.C. We can help you understand your legal rights when it comes to employment drug testing. Call today and schedule a consultation by calling (347)-464-8694.

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Phone: 347-464-8694
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