Is this legal?

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Is this legal?

I’ll try to make this a short version but I wasn’t looking for a new job but a headhunter presented me an opportunity that I couldn’t resist so I was flown from OH to TN for the interview. The following week they presented a very attractive offer and I accepted. I resigned from my job at that time, turned in notice on my apartment packed everything up and made arrangements to have it moved down and have utilities shut off. Last Wednesday they had me go to a place in OH that collects their hair follicle pre-employment drug test, drove myself down here on Sunday, and started work today, life is great. Just after lunch I got told my drug test came back positive and I had to call the medical examiner and she asks me if I’ve ever done methamphetamine. I wasn’t going to lie and said I have in the past buy not anytime recently. She said she had to turn in a positive result because sometime in the last year I’ve used this drug. I was terminated. This can’t be legal I haven’t done anything wrong and in a split second my life is turned completely upside down and what am I supposed to tell my family and friends that don’t know anything about drugs and me which is how I like it I don’t hardly ever do hard drugs. I don’t even know what to do I’ve paid everything out of pocket relying on the relocation money I’m supposed to get tomorrow I don’t even have money to get home. I offered to go in and take a urine test. I wasn’t given any suggestions or options just that I needed to leave.

Asked on April 15, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Tennessee

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Unless your treatment violated the terms of an employment contract or union agreement, then you have no claim here. The fact is that most work relationships are "at will". This means that a company can set the conditions of employment much as it sees fit (absent some form of legally actionable discrimination). Accordingly, you could have been terminated for any reason or no reason at all, with or without notice.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, if you did not have an actual written employment contract for a defined or fixed period of time (such as a one-year, two-year, etc. contract), you were an "employee at will"; an an employe at will can be terminated (or a job offer reneged upon) at any time, for any reason, including failing a hair follicle drug test. You would not have any recourse if you did not have a contract; they had the right to do this.


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