Can You Be Fired Over a Failed Drug Test in California?

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Posted by Legal Team On May 10, 2023

Pursuing a career in California can mean having more requirements than the simple day-to-day performance of the job. You could have to attend additional training and educational programs, have your performance at the job reviewed, and participate in mandatory drug testing. If you fail a drug test, you may wonder what this means.

Drug Testing and Losing Your Job

By failing a drug test, are you going to lose your job? It is entirely possible. So, it is crucial to grasp your rights in this situation. Speaking to an employment lawyer in California is essential so that you understand what your next steps should be.

At The Armstrong Law Firm, we will ensure that your rights are protected. Our compassionate, experienced team of attorneys understands the pressures associated with having your livelihood jeopardized, and we want to protect your financial standing and the career path you have worked so hard to establish.

California Labor Code Section 1025

According to the California Labor Code Section 1025, employers can fire and are not required to hire employees found to be using drugs. But, within this code, employees still have rights that protect them.

An employer has to work within the California constitution, discrimination laws, and regulations. To ensure that your rights are protected, contact a California discrimination and harassment attorney today.

Right to Privacy

All citizens are awarded the right to privacy by Article 1, Section 1 of the California Constitution. This means that particular protocols must be followed to avoid violating an employee’s rights if the employer chooses to drug test them.

The employer requiring the drug test must have an interest that overpowers the employee’s privacy rights in order for the drug test and termination for failing it to be legal. Courts will review the following aspects of drug testing when determining whether the employer’s behavior is lawful:

  • The employer’s business and its nature are taken into account.
  • The type of drug test administered
  • The tools used to administer the test
  • How the test is administered
  • What the employee’s job entails
  • The test’s accuracy

The court might decide that it is appropriate for an employer to drug test their heavy equipment operators but not to drug test their receptionist.

Discrimination Free Workplaces

Particular circumstances can mean that drug testing and terminating an employee can be considered workplace discrimination. California workplaces are lawfully required to be free from discrimination. Some examples of discrimination that an employer must be cognizant of and must avoid are listed below:

  • Discrimination based on sexual orientation
  • Age discrimination
  • Racial discrimination
  • Gender discrimination
  • Discrimination based on nationality
  • Religious discrimination
  • Discrimination based on sex

These discrimination tactics are federally protected as well as protected on the state level. Take note if your employer is zoning in on employees with similar characteristics as you to a drug test or fire. You and the other employees who are singled out for discrimination may be entitled to file suit.

Speak to a Discrimination Lawyer in California Today

If you have been drug tested and unlawfully terminated for failing or refusing to take a drug test, you may be eligible to sue your employer. Speak with a California discrimination attorney today at The Armstrong Law Firm. We are available for a free consultation to discuss your rights and how we can help you protect them.