What are my rights, if any, regarding allegations anddrug tests?

Family owns/operates restaurant that I work as a manager at. Manager I.D. numbers were used to make voids and allegedly money was taken from register. My number, along with other managers’, were used. Because it happened most often while I was on the clock, they narrowed it down and accused me. They accused me of taking it for drugs and basically forced me into a drugtest; they wouldn’t accept me leaving or asking to be terminated. I told them upfront the test would come up positive for marijuana and possibly painkillers. I use occasionally but do not have to take money to buy illegally?

Asked on October 17, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

First, the employer can't make you take the drug test--or rather, you *always* have the right to simply quit and leave unless you signed some employment or other contract which would obligate you to take the test. So you can avoid the test if you want to; they can't not "accept" you leaving, since it's not their choice. You are not a slave and may quit at any time, subject only to the restrictions in any employment contract you signed.

Second, if you don't have an employment contract, you are any employee at will. As an employee at will, you may be terminated at any time, for any reason, including their suspicions. So they would certainly have the right to fire you if they'd like, even if you believe the allegations false.

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