Can my company enforce a drug and alcohol policy when I am laid off and not scheduled to work anywhere?

I was already laid off and no return to work date had been set but I was called in for a random and had a residual alcohol level from the weekend. They used this to deny my unemployment benefits. This company often has periods of no work. I have been employed with them for a year now but have only really worked 6 months. They have just laid off 200 people and I believe they are trying to limit the amount of unemployment claims they must pay.

Asked on July 2, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Texas


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If you were actually laid off from your employer on a short term basis with the likelihood of being hired back as opposed to being terminated, your employer assuming the employee employer hand book states so can request that you return to work for drug testing as a condition for starting back to work.

You need to be aware that once you were laid off, you were entitled to make an unemployment benefit claim since you are not working for pay regardless of any residual alcohol in your system after the lay off when you returned for a drug screen test.

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