Drug and Alcohol Testing in the Workplace

Drug and Alcohol Testing in the Workplace

The Minnesota Drug and Alcohol Testing in the Workplace Act (DATWA) providesemployees rights regarding drug and alcohol testing in the workplace. Specifically, this statute states that employers cannot force an employee or a job applicant to undergo a drug or alcohol testing unless the employer has a written drug and alcohol testing policy that explains to the employee:

  • The circumstances under which an employee can be required to undergo a drug or alcohol test;
  • That the employee has a right to refuse to undergo drug or alcohol testing and that if they do refuse, what the consequences of refusal are;
  • What disciplinary or adverse personnel action can be taken against the employee if a drug or alcohol test is verified as positive;
  • That the employee has the right to explain a positive test result and take a confirmatory retest;
  • And whether there are any appeal procedures available.

The Minnesota DATWA also has safeguards for employees regarding the reliability of the laboratory conducting the testing and chain-of-custody procedures which protect employee rights.

Employee Rights Related to Drug and Alcohol Testing in the Workplace

Additionally, employees have additional rights relating to drug and alcohol testing. Specifically:

  • The employee/job applicant has the right to request and receive a copy of the test result report;
  • The employee/job applicant has the right to request a confirmatory retest of the original sample at the employee’s or job applicant’s expense.
  • Employers also cannot discharge, fire, terminate, or discriminate against an employee on the basis of a positive test result from an initial screening test that has not been verified by a confirmatory test.
  • Employers usually cannot fire an employee for an initial positive test result that has been confirmed unless they have first offered the employee the opportunity to first participate in a drug or alcohol counseling/rehabilitation program.
  • Positive test results have confidentiality protections and as such, your employer should not be disclosing the results to third parties.
  • It is illegal for an employer to retaliate against an employee who asserts their rights and remedies under the Drug and Alcohol Testing in the Workplace Act.

If you have been terminated for a positive drug test and you employer has not followed proper drug and alcohol testing procedures, you may be entitled to get your job back, lost wages, and Attorney’s Fees.

While every case is unique and depends on the facts and circumstance, if your Minnesota employer or the company you applied for prospective employment with knowingly or recklessly violated Minnesota’s drug and alcohol testing policies, you may be entitled to back pay, future pay, and attorney’s fees. If you have questions about your case, contact Kuhlman Law, PLLC immediately. There is no charge for the initial consultation and we may be able to help right the wrong committed by your employer.

For more information and to schedule a free consultation with Employee Rights Lawyer Christopher Kuhlman, call (612) 349-2747.