Can an employer fire you for a failed drug test if they offer EAP programs?

As a temp, I was given paperwork from employer for drug testing and physical.
However, I did not receive the job description, wage, etc. Took test, went to
orientation, and worked for three more days before I was fired. During
orientation, the HR employee specifically stated that they have an EAP program
for anyone that fails a drug test. As of that day, HR said I was an official
employee although I did not have a title, wage, etc. However, three days later
10 days since the test, I was called after hours and asked not to return to
work. I told her that I felt the test was wrong and asked about the EAP
program, but she said I was not welcomed back. I tried to explain existing
prescriptions and OTC meds that I was taking, but they refused to allow a
second test. Is this discrimination? If an employee comes to work and endanger
someone, he is subject to discipline and counseling, but as a new employee, I
was fired and not offered any kind of discipline.

Asked on March 15, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

The short answer is, unless you had an actual written employment contract for a definite term (e.g. a one-year contract) which was still in force or effect, they could terminate you. Without a contract, you are an employee at will and have essentially no rights in or to your job--that is, no protection for your job. If the employer chooses to  terminate you instead of taking some other action, that would be legal.

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