If you work or are applying for a job in Delaware and your employer has asked you to take a drug test, you’ll want to know your legal rights. Federal law places few limits on employer drug testing: Although the federal government requires testing by employers in a few safety-sensitive industries (including transportation, aviation, and contractors with NASA and the Department of Defense), federal law doesn’t otherwise require – or prohibit drug tests. For the most part, this area is regulated by state and local laws.
Delaware is one of a handful of states that places no restrictions on drug testing in private employment. However, even though state law doesn’t prohibit drug testing of employees or applicants, an employer might violate the law in the way it conducts a test or chooses the employees to test. For example:
- Disability discrimination. An applicant or employee who is taking medication for a disability is protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Some prescribed medications turn up on drug tests, and some drugs that would otherwise be illegal (such as opiates) are legitimately prescribed for certain conditions. If an applicant is turned down because of a positive drug test, and the applicant's medication was legally prescribed for a disability, the company could be liable.
- Other discrimination claims. An employer who singles out certain groups of employees – for example, by race, age, or gender –for drug testing could face a discrimination claim.
To find out whether you have grounds to challenge a drug test, talk to an experienced Delaware employment lawyer.