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Joseph
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Category: California Employment Law
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My husband drives a commercial truck for employment, there

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My husband drives a commercial truck for employment, there was a tragic accident where a person lost there life and my husband was the driver, he was deemed not at fault and was not charged with anything. The police report says he was not under the influence of anything. He was required to submit a blood sample for testing, and was authorized to go back to work. 2 months later he is terminated for a small amount of THC in his system from the blood test. His supervisor told co-workers of the failed test, and also fired him without issuing his final pay, which he had to call the company and they sent it later. He was never drug tested the 7 years he worked there and never given an emplyee handbook or drug policy, and was never under the influence while on the job, and is not a frequent marijuana user... Is all of this legal? I live in California and I am told by several people that he should have been offered rehab by his employer. He was also told his termination is because insurance will no longer cover him driving a company truck.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Joseph replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer.

I'm sorry to hear about your husband's situation and hope I can help.

Unfortunately, this is legal. An employer can terminate an employee for having even a minor amount of THC in their blood, even if they are prescribed medicinal marijuana for a legitimate health reason.

As an at-will employee, an employee can be terminated at any time for any reason (even a bad one) with or without any prior notice, including testing positive for a drug test.

This stems from the employment at-will doctrine, which is codified in California Labor Code Section 2922 and states:

"An employment, having no specified term, may be terminated at the will of either party on notice to the other. Employment for a specified term means an employment for a period greater than one month."
Unfortunately, the people you've spoken to don't have the law right. If your husband were to have gone to his employer and requested to go to rehab, under the ADA, the employer cannot discriminate against him based on that request, and would be entitled to allow him leave to get substance abuse treatment.

However, an employer is not obligated to give an employee an opportunity to go to rehab if he or she tests positive for a drug screening and can terminate that employee immediately. (For that matter, an employer could terminate an employee for passing a drug test too, since as an at-will employee, you can be terminated for any reason).

I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX had better news to give you, but I hope you appreciate a direct and honest answer to your question.

 

For reference, please see this cite:

 

http://www.usccr.gov/pubs/ada/ch4.htm

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Is his supervisor allowed to disclose his drug test results to my husband's co-workers???
Expert:  Joseph replied 1 year ago.
Unfortunately, there's nothing in the law that prohibits him from doing so, although it is unethical, immoral, and wrong to do so.

Since his supervisor and emloyer are not covered entities under HIPAA, there is nothing in the law that prevents his supervisor from disclosing his drug test results to other employees.

It would only be illegal if he disclosed false information about your husband to his co-workers.
Joseph, Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 5272
Experience: Extensive experience representing employees and management
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