Can adrug screening lab call my prospective employer and make statements about my character and behavior while at the lab?

UPDATED: Jan 24, 2011

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Can adrug screening lab call my prospective employer and make statements about my character and behavior while at the lab?

I was asked to take a drug screen for my prospective employer. I took the test and I was told that I needed to produce another sample before leaving the lab. I explained I had prior obligations and could return later that day to produce a sample. This turned into a argument. I did not curse, did not raise my voice, did nothing that I felt would constitute bad behavior. The nurse in the lab later called my perspective employer and stated that I was belligerent and refused to produce a sample. This call ultimately prevented me from being hired. I’m curious if this phone call from the lab was legal?

Asked on January 24, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Tennessee


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

The drug screening company was hired by your employer to do the testing, correct?  Although they are to be independent and impartial in their analysis of the samples - how could they not be? - they have a right to report to the employer as to the status of the sample taking.  However, they did not have the right to skew the facts or downright lie about what happened and cost you the job.  How you are going to prove the phone conversation is my concern here.  Who told you that is what they said on the phone?  I would consult with an employment attorney but it is a very difficult matter to be compensated for.  Your damages are not getting the job.  Can you prove you would have gotten it "but for" their call?  I might look in to reporting them to their licensing agency as going beyond the scope of their duties.  Good luck to you.

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