Some workplaces in Minnesota require workers to undergo drug or alcohol testing under certain circumstances, so long as the worker received certain legally mandatory information about the employer’s drug and alcohol testing policy. That being said, workers have rights with regards to drug and alcohol testing that they should be aware of.
Under Minnesota statute section 181.953, a worker who tests positive for drugs in an initial screening cannot be fired, disciplined, discriminated against or be required to undergo rehabilitation. An initial test must be verified by a confirmatory test. However, the worker may be suspended temporarily or transferred to another position that pays the same pending the results of the confirmatory test. However, the worker has the right to provide information regarding any prescription or over-the-counter medications he or she has taken that could affect the test results.
Moreover, an employer cannot fire a worker who tests positive for drugs on a confirmatory test if it was the worker’s first time testing positive. There are exceptions to this. One is if the employer gave the worker a chance to participate in a drug or alcohol counseling or rehabilitation program, and the worker either refused to participate in such a program or failed to complete the program. Such a failure can be evidenced either by the worker quitting the program or by testing positive on a subsequent confirmatory test after having completed the program.
Drug testing can be stressful for workers, but in some cases they are required. Keep in mind that this post cannot replace the advice of an attorney. Any worker who has questions about whether his or her workplace’s policy regarding drug testing is lawful and what his or her rights are if he or she tests positive and feels he or she may have a claim for wrongful termination may want to seek legal help.