Can employment be refused or a job taken away due to a positive drug screen?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can employment be refused or a job taken away due to a positive drug screen?

My daughter has been a nurse for 28 years. She hurt her back years ago and has been on pain medication for 10 years. She was laid off from her job 6 months ago. She finally was able to get another position at the same hospital. When she did her drug screen, she was honest about what she was taking because it was given to her from her docter. Some 6 years ago she had a drug screen at the same hospital, they questioned her about it. She told them her doctor has her on them. That was the end of it. This time, they took a position away from her. Can they do that?

Asked on March 13, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, California


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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If she is an employee at will - and likely she is that - then they can terminate or rescind an offer if she fails one of their requirements for employment. I can hear the concern in your voice and I agree: it is time for her to manage the pain without the drugs.That is the next step here.  Good luck.

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