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TexLaw
TexLaw, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 4430
Experience:  Contracts, Wrongful termination and discrimination
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I recently took a drug test for my employer, in their facility

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I recently took a drug test for my employer, in their facility not a lab. It was done by one nurse and no one else around. I was brought into the room and told to sign a paper, I thought it was just a consent to drug test, nothing was explained to me and nothing else was written on the paper. I was then given the cup and told to give my specimen. It came back positive, I have a prescription, I was told to initial something. The nurse told me he was not sure how to send in the sample so he would leave it in the fridge until Monday, two days later. I never saw him put a seal on the urine, fill out any part of the form I signed, never got a copy of anything. The next thing I know the lab is calling me to discuss my results. I refused to cooperate because I didn't feel comfortable, because I have no idea what happened to the urine after I left. It turns out the for I sign, unknowingly, was a chain of custody, nothing was explained to me. Is my signature going to keep me from being able to fight this?
Hi,

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be assisting you with your legal question.

Were you terminated as a result of the positive drug screen?

Do you know what drug you were found positive for and whether that is a false positive which would be produced by your prescription?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I have not been terminated just suspended pending investigation. I would not let the lab discuss this with me because I don't even know for sure that the urine is mine, since the chain of custody was not done properly.

Do you have a written employment contract which states you can only be terminated for just cause, or are you an at-will employee?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

At-will

As an at-will employee, there is practically nothing you can do in this situation. In Indiana, and throughout the United States, employment law heavily favors the employer in most situations. Unless the employee has a contract which provides that the employee may only be terminated for cause, the law will hold that the employee's right to work falls under the At Will Doctrine. The At Will Doctrine provides that an employer may terminate an employee for any reason whatsoever, even if it is a false reason. The only limitation on this is that an employer may not terminate an employee because of discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, military status, national origin, disability, age, or ancestry of the employee.

In your case, you say you were suspended and may be terminated based on a false positive on a drug screen which was not handled properly. Rules regarding chain of custody and proper preservation of the evidence only come into play when we are talking about evidence in a court of law. Here, the company drug screener did not handle the situation properly, but because this is not a case before a court or a criminal investigation, it does not matter. Your employer has the right to terminate you for any or no reason whatsoever.

So, you should stop viewing the improper handling of the specimen as a viable defense, as in the end it has no teeth. Instead, what I would advise you to do is contact the drug screener and ask for the results of your test. Then I would recommend sending in a letter to your employer which points out the the drug screener did not handle the specimen carefully and most importantly, that the positive is a false positive because it was caused by your prescription medication. Attach to the letter a copy of your prescription. This will give your employer a reasonable basis to overlook the drug screen results. You can even go the extra mile and go pay for an independent drug screen yourself, and let the lab know that you are taking the prescription med so that they can note on the screen that any positive is a false positive.
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