The Legality of Random Drug Testing

The Legality of Random Drug Testing

Routine and random drug tests may be part of an employment agreement, but does exercising this clause violate an employee’s Fourth Amendment privacy rights? When employers do not have reason to suspect drug abuse, should drug tests be allowed? Employees across Florida are asking this question and seeking the advice of drug testing attorneys when they are fired for falsely testing positive or refusing to submit to routine testing.

Legislators agree that drug abuse results in billions of dollars in lost productivity and poses the potential for endangering the public. That is why Florida law permits random tests of those who present a “special risk” to people or property — so long as such tests are conducted privately and impartially.

Yet, there does not appear to be a consensus among judges about the constitutionality of searches without a reasonable suspicion of abuse. An injunction on Governor Rick Scott’s executive order demanding routine drug tests of state employees was reversed by a U.S. Court of Appeals judge in May 2013. The case was remanded to the lower court to more narrowly focus the injunction to state employees who are entrusted with the public safety. And these employees who present a “special risk” to the public or to property may be subjected to random searches:

  • Police officers
  • Security officers
  • Firefighters
  • Teachers
  • Heavy-equipment operators
  • Animal handlers at public parks

 Many people agree that random drug tests are both unnecessary and unfair — particularly when employers have no reason to believe that an employee is abusing drugs.

If your legal rights have been violated by a drug test, consult with a Florida drug test attorney today.

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