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Marsha411JD
Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 19767
Experience:  Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. exp in Employment Law
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My husband was fired for having opiates show up in a UA. He

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My husband was fired for having opiates show up in a UA. He takes a prescribed narcotic and is able to produce a letter from his doctor. Additionally he never takes them during work hours. The company gives random UA tests and even tests prior to hiring which these would have shown up at that time also. Idaho is a work at will state however, the policies for the company state "using or in possession of any drug, except by doctor's prescription..." being a work at will is there a possible wrongful termination at hand?
Hello,

Thank you for the information and your question. Can you tell me what kind of work your husband does? Was this a safety sensitve job? Is he is a union?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Not union. He sales seafood 3 days a week and 2 days a week he delivers it. the quote about doctors prescribing medication came directly from the drivers portion of policies and procedures and they didn't even ask when he takes it or if he could produce a doctors note they just let him go. This is after allowing him to deliver yesterday and last Friday. They planned this trip up here last Thursday.

Hello again and thank you for your reply. Based solely on the information that you have provided, there may be an issue of wrongful termination. Although you are right that Idaho is an employment "at will" state, there are some exceptions to that rule. Those are is the termination would violate an employment contract, company policy or employment discrimination law. So, if, for example, the drug policy states or implies that as long as the employee has a prescription for a particular drug, and assuming they can still do their work on that prescription, that they will not violate the drug policy. Then the drug policy could not be used to let them go. That would be a violation of their own policy.

The only catch here is the driving issue. Because that is a potentially safety sensitive job, the employer could, and would generally have to, apply a different rule. That rule would be strictly that no one could drive if they take narcotics, whether they have a prescription or not. Those would generally be rules driven by the DOT or OSHA.

However, there is enough of an issue here, that I believe he should sit down with a local employment law attorney and go over the facts of his case and the policies and practices of the employer in regards XXXXX XXXXX drug policy, testing and terminations. That way the attorney can give him their honest opinion about whether they think there is a case there that they might want to take on.

Please let me know if you need any clarification. I would be glad to assist you further if I can.
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