Must an existing employee take a drug screening?

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Must an existing employee take a drug screening?

I have been a contract employee with a tech agency for 8 years. I recently received 3 emails stating that as a new applicant I need to take a pre-employment screening. Having been with them for as long as I have it seems to me that the email in it’s present form does not apply to me. I have told them that they need a different letter. The head of that department is out until next week and I have to reach out to her first thing that day.

Asked on July 12, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Oregon

Answers:

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

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

Unless there is an employment contract or union agreement to the contrary, an exisiting employee can be made to submit to a drug screening. The fact is that most work relationships are what is known as "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, yo can be required to take a drug test and if you refuse, you can be terminated. In fact you can be fired for this reason, no reason or any reason at all.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

Yes, an existing employee can be required to take a drug test; there is no law exempting existing employees from drug tests, and some industries or professions regularly test employees for drug use. It may that this letter was sent to you in error, given that it is apparently addressed to new applicants, so they may not want or need you to do this--but if they do, you have to take the test.


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