If my employer is requiring all employees to have a blood test, can I refuse?

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If my employer is requiring all employees to have a blood test, can I refuse?

The testing is supposed to be for setting a base-line for chromium levels in employees (this is a non-union shipyard). Previously all employees were required to fill out a  health questionnaire was almost 30 pages long and included questions about all aspects of medical history, including family history of diseases, etc. Everyone was required to put their names on the forms and turn it in to their foremen. The forms were actually more in-depth than the ones that I filled out for any doctor or life insurance coverage and I’m concerned that my privacy is at risk.

Asked on November 2, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Washington

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You can't refuse this request on the basis that your privacy "might be" compromised.  If it is, then at such time you would have a claim.  In the meantime, you don't have too many options.  In most states, employment relationships are what is known as "at will". What this means for you is that your employer can hire or fire you for any reason or no reason whatsoever, as well has increase/decrease salary/hours, promote/demote, and generally impose requirements as it sees fit.  You in turn can work for an employer, or not, your choice.  The exceptions to the above would be if there is a company policy contrary to the way in which your situation is being handled, or there is a union/employment agreement that does not allow for such action, or this situation has arisen due to some type of discrimination (i.e., for reasons due to your race, religion, age, disability, sex, national origin). 

At this point you need to consult directly with an attorney in your area as to your specific rights under WA state law.


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