If you have been fired due to a positive drug or alcohol test, you may feel that your legal rights were violated. Although generally speaking an Iowa employer has the right to test an employee for substance abuse, they also have certain responsibilities they must fulfill prior to administering a drug or alcohol test.
What responsibilities does the employer have before conducting drug and alcohol testing?
Prior to testing employees for drug and alcohol abuse, employers must establish a written drug testing policy and disseminate it to all employees subject to testing. If you didn’t see the drug test coming, it may be that your employer failed to provide the information or make it available for review.
The written policy must provide uniform requirements for disciplinary or rehabilitative actions when an employee tests positive for alcohol and drugs (or refuses to provide a sample) and establish a policy standard for alcohol concentration that will constitute a violation. Deviating from the terms in the written policy can be a case for wrongful termination or work place retaliation.
Prevention or early treatment of drug and alcohol abuse is key. The law requires employers to establish an employee awareness program to include an Employee Assistance Program or a resource file where workers can access help for substance abuse problems.
Because supervisors play a pivotal role in the drug testing process, they are required to fulfill training requirements to include recognition of evidence of alcohol or drug abuse, how to document and corroborate the abuse, and familiarity with referral programs or other resources available to employees. Issues with employment often start at the supervisor level so if your supervisor acted outside the written drug and alcohol policy to your disadvantage it is important to seek help.
If You Were Fired After Taking Drug and Alcohol Test
Contact A Davenport Wrongful Termination Attorney
Although private sector employers generally enjoy the right to perform drug and alcohol testing, there are certain responsibilities they must legally observe. If you have been fired or suffered other adverse employment actions related to drug and alcohol abuse testing, contact the Davenport employment law offices of McDonald, Woodward & Carlson PC for help today.