Archives: Drug and Alcohol Testing

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Rhode Island Employee May Proceed With Lawsuit Alleging That Termination For Failed Breath Test Violated State Law

A federal court in Rhode Island allowed a former employee to proceed with her lawsuit alleging that the employer violated state law when it terminated her employment after a positive breath alcohol test. Stafford v. CSL Plasma, Inc., Case No. 1:19-cv-00270 (D.R.I. September 14, 2020). Stafford worked for CSL Plasma for about a year as … Continue Reading

Employee’s Request To Revise Drug Policy To Address CBD Use Was Not A Reasonable Accommodation

A federal court in Tennessee dismissed an employee’s lawsuit in which she claimed that her employer should have changed its drug policy to allow CBD use. Hamric v. City of Murfreesboro, Case No. 3:18-cv-01239 (September 10, 2020). The City of Murfreesboro hired Hamric as a Cultural Arts Program Specialist in August of 2015. Her job … Continue Reading

Directly-Observed Urine Collections Do Not Constitute Invasion of Privacy Where Employees Consented to Drug Testing

The Supreme Court of Ohio held that an at-will employee has no cause of action for common law invasion of privacy after the employer required the employee to submit to a directly-observed urine collection drug test.  Lunsford v. Sterilite of Ohio, LLC, slip op. No. 2020-Ohio-4193 (August 26, 2020). Sterilite is a private employer with … Continue Reading

Quest Diagnostics Study Finds 16-Year High in Positive Workplace Drug Test Results for 2019

According to a new Quest Diagnostics study, employers saw the highest rate of positive workforce drug test results since 2003. As expected, marijuana was the most detected drug, including in states where marijuana remains illegal. The study reported a surge in positive results in the Midwest for cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana. However, the report found … Continue Reading

Rhode Island Court Upholds “Reasonable Grounds” Drug Testing Even Where There Is Another Possible Explanation For Employee’s Behaviors

The Rhode Island Supreme Court affirmed the dismissal of a lawsuit against an employer who terminated an employee for refusing to submit to a reasonable suspicion drug test, even though the employee’s odd behaviors could have been attributable to pain or other things. Colpitts v. W.B. Mason Co., Inc., No. 2018-337-Appeal (R.I. May 29, 2020). … Continue Reading

FMCSA Proposes New Licensing Rules To Prevent Driving By CMV Drivers With Drug and Alcohol Program Violations

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on April 28, 2020 seeking to prohibit State Driver’s Licensing Agencies (SDLAs) from issuing, renewing, upgrading, or transferring a commercial driver’s license (CDL) or commercial learner’s permit (CLP) for individuals prohibited from driving a commercial motor vehicle … Continue Reading

New York Employers: Engage In The Interactive Dialogue With Medical Marijuana Users

A New York state court denied summary judgment to an employer that terminated an employee for testing positive for marijuana, when the employee obtained a medical marijuana certification prior to the termination decision. Gordon v. Consolidated Edison, Inc., Index No. 152944/2019 (Sup. Ct. NY County Apr. 21, 2020). Kathleen Gordon was subjected to a random … Continue Reading

U.S. DOT Issues Guidance Regarding Drug And Alcohol Testing During COVID-19 Crisis

The U.S. Department of Transportation Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy Compliance issued guidance on March 23, 2020 to provide clarity with respect to existing requirements for DOT-mandated drug and alcohol testing during the COVID-19 crisis. DOT agencies include the Federal Aviation Administration, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the Federal Transit Administration, the Federal … Continue Reading

Iowa Drug Testing Statute Provides Exclusive Remedy For Violations; Separate Wrongful Discharge Claim Is Barred

Addressing a matter of first impression, the Iowa Supreme Court determined that “when a civil cause of action is provided by the legislature in the same statute that creates the public policy to be enforced, the civil cause of action is the exclusive remedy for violation of that statute.” Ferguson v. Exide Technologies, Inc., et … Continue Reading

Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy Check-Up – Are You Ready for 2020?

2020 is on the horizon, and employers must be ready to comply with many new developments in the world of workplace drug and alcohol testing. Here is a summary of significant laws that will take effect in 2020 (and some that have already taken effect): Illinois Recreational Marijuana Law – The Cannabis Regulation and Tax … Continue Reading

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Publishes Standards For Oral Fluid Drug Testing

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) published scientific and technical guidelines for oral fluid drug testing in federal workplace drug testing programs in the Federal Register on October 25, 2019. The Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs Using Oral Fluid (OFMG) allows federal executive branch agencies to collect and test … Continue Reading

Oklahoma Court Holds That Positive Marijuana Drug Test Did Not Prove That Marijuana Caused Accident

An Oklahoma state court held that a positive post-accident drug test for marijuana did not prove that marijuana use caused the accident, and therefore the claimant was eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Rose v. Berry Plastics Corp. et al., 2019 OK Civ. App. 55 (Ok. Civ. Ct. App. Oct. 16, 2019). Claimant Dillon Rose’s left … Continue Reading

Pennsylvania Public Policy Did Not Bar Termination of Nuclear Power Plant Employee Who Tested Positive For Alcohol

A federal district court in Pennsylvania held that public policy did not bar termination of a nuclear power plant employee who tested positive for alcohol. Bennett v. Talen Energy Corp. et al., No. 3:19cv521 (M.D. Pa. Oct. 11, 2019). Plaintiff worked at a nuclear power plant as a production foreman. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (“NRC”) … Continue Reading

New Jersey’s Amended Medical Marijuana Law Provides Job Protections And Includes Drug Testing Procedures

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed into law on July 2, 2019 the Jake Honig Compassionate Use Medical Cannabis Act (“CUMCA”) to expand patient access to medical marijuana and to reform the State’s medical marijuana program. The law amends the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act, N.J.S.A. 24:61-2 et seq., (and changes its name … Continue Reading

Court Dismisses ADA Claims Alleging “Excessive” Drug and Alcohol Testing

A federal court in New York dismissed a disability discrimination claim asserted under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) based on allegedly “excessive” drug and alcohol testing of employees after they failed drug or alcohol tests required under the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)’s regulations. Vuono, et al. v. Consolidated Edison of New York, Inc., … Continue Reading

Occupations Governed by Federal Regulation Remain Guarded Against State Medical Marijuana Non-Discrimination Laws

A growing number of states have passed anti-discrimination laws pertaining to medical marijuana use. While medical marijuana is becoming widely legalized under state law, marijuana and its most identifiable active chemical, THC, remain listed as Schedule I drugs under the federal Controlled Substances Act. Still, the legalized marijuana market, and the science behind the research … Continue Reading

Update: New York City’s Ban On Pre-Employment Marijuana Testing Will Take Effect on May 10, 2020

We previously blogged about the law passed by the New York City Council on April 9, 2019 that will prohibit employers from conducting pre-employment drug testing for marijuana. Because the law was not signed or vetoed by Mayor de Blasio within 30 days of passage, it became law on May 10, 2019. The law provides … Continue Reading

FMCSA Clearinghouse Rules Take Effect On January 6, 2020: Are You Ready?

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Clearinghouse will become operational on January 6, 2020, and FMCSA-regulated employers must be ready to comply with the Clearinghouse requirements on that date. The FMCSA Clearinghouse is an electronic database that will contain information about commercial motor vehicle drivers’ drug and alcohol program violations. Although … Continue Reading

New Mexico Amends Medical Marijuana Law To Provide Employment Protections

The New Mexico medical marijuana law has been amended to provide employment protections to employees and applicants. The amendments were signed into law by the governor on April 4, 2019. The law now provides that “unless a failure to do so would cause the employer to lose a monetary or licensing-related benefit under federal law … Continue Reading

New York City Will Ban Pre-Employment Marijuana Testing in 2020

The New York City Council passed a law on April 9, 2019 that will prohibit employers from conducting pre-employment drug testing for marijuana. The law is expected to be signed by the mayor and will take effect one year later. This law is the first of its kind in the United States. The new law … Continue Reading

Medical Marijuana Users May Not Be Discriminated Against In New Jersey

A New Jersey appellate court has held that a disabled employee may sue his former employer under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (“NJLAD”) for alleged discrimination based on the employee’s use of medical marijuana. Wild v. Carriage Funeral Holdings, Inc., et al., Docket No. A-3072-17T3 (N.J. App. Div. Mar. 27, 2019). Although the New … Continue Reading

Drug Testing Laboratories May Be Sued For Negligence In South Carolina

The South Carolina Supreme Court held that laboratories who perform workplace drug tests on behalf of employers owe a duty of care to the individuals who are tested and may be sued for negligence for failing to properly and accurately perform the drug tests and report the results. Shaw v. Psychemedics Corp., App. Case No. … Continue Reading

Delaware State Court Holds That Medical Marijuana User May Proceed With Lawsuit Against Employer

A Delaware state court has held that a medical marijuana user may proceed with a lawsuit against his former employer after his employment was terminated due to a positive drug test result for marijuana. Chance v. Kraft Heinz Foods Co., C.A. No. K18C-01-056 NEP (Del. Super. Ct. Dec. 17, 2018). Jeremiah Chance worked for Kraft … Continue Reading

OSHA Clarifies Its Position On Post-Accident Drug Testing; States That “Most Instances of Workplace Drug Testing Are Permissible”

In a memorandum to Regional Administrators dated October 11, 2018, OSHA clarified the agency’s position as to whether certain types of drug testing would be considered violations of 29 C.F.R. §1904.35(b)(1)(iv). That regulation prohibits employers from discharging or discriminating against an employee for reporting a work-related injury or illness. As we discussed in an earlier blog … Continue Reading
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