Hi there,I work for a large corporation based in Melbourne, Victoria. I am a relative new starter, I have been at the company for 2 years but have only been full-time for bout 4 months. As part of my job, I am subcontracted onto different large projects that can be either private of government owned. I recently began the process of becoming part for a joint alliance to work on a large rail project in Victoria. One of the early steps to this was to undergo a medical. As part of the medical, I had to give urine to be scanned for drugs. I heard back a week later from my team leader at work that I have 'failed' the drug test and that as a result my employment at my parent company has also been thrown into question. I was initially dumbfounded because I do not use illicit drugs and any prescriptions that I was taking at the time I declared. Eventually the actual results of the exam arrived by email to my manager, and it turns out that the reason I failed the test was because of a prescription medicine that I was taking earlier in the year which has now been replaced by the other medicine which was also found in my urine but was declared. So, it was really quite an honest mistake. The problem now is that my manager and other people that I have had to deal with at work, don't entirely comprehend the intricacies of different types of drugs, nor could i expect them to, but to them i have a failed drug test and i am now beginning to feel a little uncomfortable about it. I feel like i am being discriminated against just because i have an issue that requires medication to be dealt with. I have since brought in notes from my doctor stating what drugs i was on, when i was on them and also that they believe i am fit and safe to be on a work site. I am now in a little bit of limbo because my manager is now not so comfortable assigning me to go out on site. But the company i work for has no policy of drug testing its employees and so i feel that information they have inadvertently received regarding the presence of drugs in my system has altered the way I am treated. Sorry if that was not explained so well but it is a difficult story to type. If you could respond, and if there are any bits that are not clear then I can clear them up. I guess i feel that i am being unfairly treated based upon the fact that i am prescribed medication for a medical condition, and they would not even know this if not for an external drug test which they happened to get the specific results for. There is no evidence of the prescription drugs that i am on from the way i work or the way i act, i am a valued member of an extremely driven and successful team.Thank you for your time
Country relating to Question: Australia
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Okay, I understand that you feel uncomfortable at work because some of your co-workers think you took illicit drugs when in fact they were prescribed by a doctor. But what specifically is your question?
So I am now going through the process of having to have meetings with my manager and members of the people team, and I am being told that my reputation has been somewhat tainted and that they are not entirely comfortable sending me out to jobs where I have to be on site.I am just wondering if there is some form of discrimination taking place. Are they allowed to alter their thoughts regarding my ability on site because of a medical that I took for a third party contract. And I am also looking for a way to clear my name because it now seems that I am being treated differently as a result of a medical condition that I have which requires me to take medication.Thank you
I am also looking for a way to clear my name because it now seems that I am being treated differently as a result of a medical condition that I have which requires me to take medication. It is discrimination, undoubtedly. The problem is that you aren't in a class of persons who can make a claim for discrimination.The most you could do here is make a claim to the Fair Workplace Ombudsman on the basis that your workplace rights have been affected by this discrimination. I recommend that you call 13 13 94 and make a complaint about this.Your complaint may result in an investigator coming to see your employer just to make sure workplace laws have been complied with. At the very least it will bring this topic to the forefront and make your employer deal with it.________This website is revamping its feedback system, so if you have more questions related to this topic, or want to discuss it further, please reply before providing feedback.Also, if you're satisfied with the results of our chat, then I'll ask you to please provide positive feedback so that I will get credit for the time spent on your question.
Thanks for your response Alex.Yes I am quite new to the office environment, having been at university for the last 6 years of my life. Discrimination never really occurred to me but I just started to feel a little uncomfortable with the way I was being treated but couldn't put my finger on it. I have a meeting with my manager and a member of the people team organised for tomorrow, is it worth bringing the way I am feeling up with them and highlighting how to me it feels like discrimination or could that conversation get a little uncomfortable? I still enjoy working here and don't want to cause any big problems for anyone. I may call the number you gave me anyway and have a chat and see what they have to say. Its just gotten to the point where everyone, including my manager, thinks they are being correct and by the book but to me it feels like discrimination. If you could just respond one last time with advice on whether to bring it up directly with them, then I can provide feedback and we can be done.Thank you for your time
is it worth bringing the way I am feeling up with them and highlighting how to me it feels like discrimination or could that conversation get a little uncomfortable? Absolutely. You need to bring it to their attention because they may not even be aware they are doing it (or at least that's what they'd claim if the Ombudsman started to investigate). So by putting the matter directly to them in a private meeting, that wouldn't hurt and might improve things.
I did my law degree at the University of Queensland
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