Many employers impose drug testing following a workplace accident or incident that results in an injury. However, effective January 1, 2017, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA)
put forth new rules that require an employer to have a reasonable basis for such testing to eliminate the potential for workplace retaliation when employees report an injury.
According to OSHA, “The rule does not prohibit drug testing of employees. It only prohibits employers from using drug testing, or the threat of drug testing, as a form of retaliation against employees who report injuries or illnesses. If an employer conducts drug testing to comply with the requirements of a state or federal law or regulation, the employer’s motive would not be retaliatory and this rule would not prohibit such testing.”
Although post accident drug and alcohol testing is allowed, employers should make sure that their policies have been reviewed to insure compliance with OSHA’s regulations. Employers should be able to demonstrate an objectively reasonable basis for testing an employee, which should be limited to situations where drug or alcohol use is likely to have contributed to or caused an accident and that the
test can accurately identify the impairment caused by the drug or alcohol use.
The bottom line is that OSHA is looking at whether an employer is using drug and alcohol testing as a form of discipline, (i.e., retaliation) when a worker reports an injury, which would be employer retaliation. If you have been fired or suffered retaliation from your employer based on a drug test taken after reporting a workplace accident, you may have a wrongful termination or employment retaliation case. Employers who do not adhere to OSHA’s requirements and who have neglected to have their employees sign required anti-drug policies and a consent to be tested, may be in violation of the law.
Iowa Drug Test Wrongful Termination & Retaliation Lawyer
Experience Does Matter – put decades of jury trial experience on your side!
If you have questions regarding a drug test at work, wrongful termination or workplace retaliation or any issue with employee rights, contact the Iowa Employment Law Offices of Marc A. Humphrey for answers and help today at 515-331-3510.