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My question is about drug testing. My prospective employer…

My question is about...

My question is about drug testing. My prospective employer requires a urine drug test. I take only prescription drugs, but since some of them are psychiatric, I'm concerned that they may show up, and then revealing what meds I do take would effectively disqualify me from employment. Suggestions?

Lawyer's Assistant: Have you discussed the drug test with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?

This is a job in PA, and my interview is Monday, so I feel a sense of urgency.

Lawyer's Assistant: Are you an "at will" employee? Do you belong to a union?

I don't belong to a union; I'm a retired teacher looking for a job in senior care. It is not a medical position; essentially companionship and help around the senior's home.

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

My concern is, if I decline to list my prescription meds, then I may likely disqualify myself from employment. How do I assert my rights, if I have any? Would it just be better to take the drug test, and only reveal prescription meds if the test is positive?

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3/23/2018
Marsha411JD
Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 20,920
Experience: Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. exp in Employment Law
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Hello,

Thank you for the information and your question. As a prospective employee you have no right to refuse the urinalysis and if you don't supply the current medications that you are on and you test positive for a prohibited drug, or something that you have not listed, you can be denied employment. I am not sure why you believe that taking medications, if they don't interfere with the performance of your duties, would disqualify you from employment.

Under the ADA, an employer may not discriminate in hiring against someone based on their medical information or disabilities as long as that person can perform the essential functions of their job with that medical issue.

Please feel free to ask for clarification if needed. If none is needed, then if you could take a moment to reply to this answer and let me know that I covered your question, then the Site will give me credit for assisting you today. Thank you

Marsha411JD
Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 20,920
Experience: Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. exp in Employment Law
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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Thanks for getting back to me. Why would most employers want someone working for them with a mental disorder? And they are not required to give me a reason if I'm not hired, so what proof would I have that they are discriminating? It seems like the employer has all the power and the prospective employee, little to none. Hopefully the stigmas surrounding mental illness have improved since I entered the workforce, and the best I can do is answer the questions honestly and hope for the best. Does that seem pretty much all I can do to you as well?
Thanks.

You're welcome. Some employers seek out employees who have ADA qualified disabilities either because they want to help employ them, they think they are good workers, or they get a tax advantage. However, to be clear, they cannot choose not to hire someone with an ADA qualified disability, just because they have that disability. That is against the law. As long as an applicant can perform the essential functions of the job, then they must be treated the same as any other employee or applicant who doesn't have a disability.

They really don't have the power in this case as the law is very strict. If the facts are on the side of the applicant, then the employer faces tough economic and, in rare cases of systematic discrimination, criminal charges. So, there is nothing in it for an employer to discriminate. But yes, in general, under employment "at will" laws, employers do have most of the power, however, that is with all employees and applicants, not just those with disabilities.

Unless something is expressly said to an applicant about their disability being a non-hiring factor, there is no way the applicant can know for sure. However, if they get a sense that it did play a role and they know they can do the job, they can file a complaint with the EEOC and then the employer is the one that has to prove that they had a non-discriminatory reason for their decision.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Thanks for your answer. I feel this will help me interview more with a little more preparedness.
Diane B.

You're very welcome.

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