Is Random Drug Testing Legal?

drug test form

Your employer may have the right to conduct random drug testing on you and your coworkers. But at the same time, you hold a certain threshold of rights during such procedures. That is, you must ensure that your employer is abiding by federal and state guidelines, all while conducting the tests fairly and consistently. Read on to discover whether random drug testing is legal and how a seasoned New York employee contract lawyer at Bell Law Group can work to protect your rights.

Is random drug testing legal in New York State?

Federal law allows random drug testing to be done in the workplace, so long as employers follow established guidelines. For example, employers are required to use a scientifically valid method to select employees for testing; select a certain percentage of employees for testing per year; schedule dates for testing that are reasonably spread out throughout the year; and more.

And in New York State, an employer holds the right to administer random drug tests if federal and/or state law holds it as a mandatory requirement for the position in question. A prime example of this is that drivers of commercial motor vehicles are required by law to submit to frequent testing.

Of note, New York is the first state in the country to prohibit employers from testing employees for cannabis use. This is because the legal use of recreational cannabis has been protected for adults, 21 years of age or older, since 2021. Though, an employer may still inflict disciplinary actions upon an employee for cannabis use during work hours or otherwise for being actively impaired during work hours.

What should I do if I fail a random drug test?

It is an unfortunate event to have failed a random drug test that was improperly administered. What’s worse is if you lose your job over such a misunderstanding. Under circumstances such as these, you may have to take the initiative in pursuing legal action. With this, you may have to make one of the following arguments:

  • You may argue that your employer did not disclose a clear policy on random drug testing in your employee contract.
  • You may argue that your employer was made aware of your medical condition (i.e., a doctor’s note) that prevents you from fairly participating in random drug testing.
  • You may argue that you receive a false positive and that your employer denied your request for a retest.
  • You may argue that you refused to participate in your employer’s random drug testing because it violated federal and state guidelines (i.e., legal use of recreational cannabis).

You should not have to go through this legal action alone. Rather, you should seek the assistance of a competent New York employee rights lawyer from Bell Law Group. Contact our firm today.

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