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My employer never communicated to me that I am part of the…

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My employer never communicated...

My employer never communicated to me that I am part of the random drug screen pool verbally or in writing and the written policy is worded ambiguously so that I did not think that I was. My screen came back positive for marijuana which the MRO agreed may have been caused by my taking impure CBD oil for pain relief which is legal and non psychoactive but can contain enough THC for a positive drug screen. I requested that my split sample be tested at another lab in accordance with policy and mailed money order and HR agreed that they would wait to receive notification of lab results before further action. No timeframe for receiving payment was ever expressed. Company policy states that a negative or inconclusive split sample result would completely nullify any positive result with no further action. Subsequently the HR department decided it was taking too long for my payment to arrive by mail from Ohio to Denver after less than a week and without notifying me elevated the situation up three levels of management to my department head. I was informed on a conference call with him and HR and then received a letter from him stating that I was now suspended from work without pay until I went through mandatory counseling and passed a return to work drug screen. HR also override our own company policy by informing my three managers prior to receiving split sample results and again by contacting the MRO to pay for the split sample themselves while my payment is in the mail and without informing me of what lab the sample would go to when policy states that it must be analyzed at a lab that is mutually agreeable to me and the MRO. My company is a large private utility based on Columbus. I want to have this test invalidated and possibly seek payment for lost wages and future wages as I was in line to possibly succeed my manager with an exemplary safety and performance record. Safety was the excuse for circumventing policy and suspending me based on initial lab result even though I asked to at least delay my suspension to catch up on desk work only to prepare for my absence. Do I have a case with a good chance of a positive outcome?

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

Ohio

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

Full time

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

No those are that is the basic info I can provide more detail as needed. I live in Cincinnati Ohio and my job is based in Columbus Ohio. Thank you!

Submitted: 8 months ago.Category: Employment Law
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Answered in 2 minutes by:
9/16/2017
Employment Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Attorney replied 8 months ago
Law Educator, Esq.
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 124,190
Experience: 20+ Years of Employment Law Experience
Verified

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Thank you I look forward to hearing back from you please let me know if I can provide any other info.
Employment Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Attorney replied 8 months ago

Even though CBD oil in its purest form is legal in the US, THC is illegal under federal law. If you were using CBD oil that did contain THC, that is not an excuse to make a positive test excusable. However, if you believe the test is invalid and you did a split sample, you claim "no timeframe for receiving payment was ever expressed" but it does not need to be expressed, if someone asks for testing of split sample it is at their expense and a lab will not conduct test without payment. Arguably sending payment within a week is a reasonable time to send payment, so their argument is weak at best.

However, you need to file a complaint that you were denied the right to the second test, which is a breach of contract and you were denied a reasonable time to pay for the test in accordance with company policy. Thus, yes, you have a valid claim to pursue against the employer and you need to consider engaging a local attorney to pursue the case against them.

Please do not forget to leave positive feedback by clicking on the 5 stars at the top of your page, as the experts are not employees of the site and get no credit for spending time with customers unless they leave positive feedback. Thank you.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
What about my HR department contacting my managers without notifying me first which would negatively affect my future opportunities with the company especially if the retest results were negative? And could I have a case to at least have this whole test invalidated on the basis that HR did not follow its own written policy on two accounts? Any additional details or recourse that I may have to argue on the basis of workplace fairness rather than CBD/THC basis would be helpful
Employment Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Attorney replied 8 months ago

Thank you for your reply.

Unfortunately, there is no confidentiality in these types of employee drug tests. You did in fact fail it, even if you claim it was only CBD and it should not have had an THC, so the employer has a right to let supervisors know and you are right that is not the basis to dispute this over. You have a chance of getting the test invalidated for their failure to follow the split testing rules and for their not following their own policies and certainly because they failed to allow a reasonable time to let you send in payment.

Please do not forget to leave positive feedback by clicking on the 5 stars at the top of your page, as the experts are not employees of the site and get no credit for spending time with customers unless they leave positive feedback. Thank you.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
This discussion did not really provide any new or useful info other than to return my own assumptions and research. I hope that no additional charges will be made to my credit card as it does not appear that you are a lawyer with any court room experience or any useful references to case law or similar cases and findings in favor of the plaintiff that could actually be of use to me in this situation. Thank you for the informal discussion however I don't feel that any useful info was provided beyond what any friend could offer or what I could find with a few minutes searching the internet
Employment Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Attorney replied 8 months ago

You know sometimes in law it is what it is. The laws do not change and of course people say they are not helpful when the laws do not support what they want to do. So we cannot help what the laws are nor did we cause your facts to occur, the laws and your facts are beyond our control. So thank you for taking up our time today. We wish you the best.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Thank you for your time I realize that you cannot change law or circumstances I will continue my search for legal knowledge and expertise. I wish you peace love and happiness and apologize If I wasted your time
Employment Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Attorney replied 8 months ago

Best of luck to you, as you are going to find out more of the same. Good luck, I am sure all will work out for you in the end. Again, thank you for taking up our time on a Saturday.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
thank you for your sarcastic passive aggressive response. I apologize for taking up your time and frankly it has been a waste of my time as well. Good luck to you as well and thank you again
Employment Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Attorney replied 8 months ago

Please stop replying to me and I do not have to respond thus taking up more of my time. Please do not use reply and just let the question close. May God bless you and you have a very blessed day.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Please submit my request for a full refund as your advice was of no helpful content you are very unprofessional sarcastic and abusive
Employment Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Attorney replied 8 months ago

I have asked you to stop replying to me because I am forced to reply to your replies. If you want a refund, experts have nothing to do with payments as we do not work for the site and cannot help you with that, you can email customer service, because they are the only ones who can refund your money. Good luck again to you in your case and your employment.

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