Do Employers Have The Right to Screen Employees For Drugs?

Yes. They do. But…with recent legislation in Washington and Colorado, that might change.

I think one would be hard pressed to find a business owner or manger who doesn’t have concerns about the performance (not to mention the attendance or quickness) of employees on drugs.

Here is a fascinating article about a man in Colorado who had a legal, medical marijuana prescription but was fired in 2010 for having a positive urine screen for marijuana. He explained his situation to his employer, but his employer maintained that they have the right to enforce a drug free work zone. Additionally, his employer stated that if they don’t maintain a drug free work zone, they are in violation of federal law. The case will go to the Colorado Supreme Court on September 30th. It’ll be interesting to see what happens.

You can read more about it in the New York Times: Legal Use of Marijuana Clashes With Workplace Testing.

Clearly, I think businesses should have the right to screen for drugs and deny employment to someone who tests positive and does not want to go to treatment for it.