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Is a person eligible to collect NJ unemployment if fired for…

Is a person eligible...

Is a person eligible to collect NJ unemployment if fired for failing a drug test?

Lawyer's Assistant: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

New Jersey

Lawyer's Assistant: Is the employment agreement "at will," union, full time or part time?

I am uncertain what "at will" means, but it was full time employment.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

I was released in June 2017, and have since moved out of state. I have been actively seeking work since being released.

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Answered in 1 minute by:
9/13/2017
ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 17,654
Experience: Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
Verified

Thank you for using JustAnswer.

I'm sorry to hear about your situation. Was there a written employment policy regarding drugs / drug tests? Was the drug use in violation of any written employment policy?

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
there's a written policy regarding no tolerance for drugs, however it does allow for rehabilitation in certain (I think the word used was "provinces"). When I asked about going for rehabilitation, the HR person told me no.

Thank you for that additional information. Please give me a few minutes while I type a response. I am still here with you, but it does take a bit of time to type a complete response.

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Again, I am sorry to hear about your situation. Failing a valid random drug test could result in a finding of gross misconduct which may then translate to a denial of unemployment benefits. And the fact that it says that there's a no tolerance policy means that they have wide discretion in this regard.

NJ is an at will employment state. At-will employment means that without a contract, you have no contractual or other right to employment with the company. The company is entitled to fire you for any reason: a good reason, a poor reason, or no reason at all--as long as the company does not fire you for an illegal reason (race, gender, age, religion, etc...). But it extends beyond firing, to hiring, promotions, demotions, wage cuts and raises, disciplinary actions, and even scheduling. Unless you can show that this was done in violation of a contract, union agreement, or a clear violation of an unambiguous and binding clause against the employer, or that it was done because of some minority status (age, race, gender, religion, disability) that you have, then they do have this discretion.

So if you can show that they disproportionately targeted you based upon one of these factors, then you might have a case. But in the absence of any proof, I'm sorry to say that you wouldn't have a case against them.

I know this is probably not what you wanted to hear, but it is the law. I hope that clears things up anyway. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable.

Please note that I don't get any credit for the time and effort that I spent on this answer unless and until you rate it positively (3 or more stars). Look for the stars on your screen (★★★★★). You may need to scroll left/right/up/down to see these stars, but note that the rating is what closes out this question, so it is necessary that you do so.

Thank you, ***** ***** luck to you!

ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 17,654
Experience: Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
Verified
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ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 17,654
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The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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