If your employer or prospective employer in Wyoming 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, state and local laws determine whether an employer may test employees and applicants for drugs.
Drug Testing Laws in Wyoming
Like many other states, Wyoming gives employers who establish a drug and alcohol testing program a discount on their workers' compensation premiums.
Wyoming employers must test job applicants for drugs; they may (but are not required to) test applicants for alcohol.
Job announcements must state that testing is required.
Wyoming employers must test employees upon reasonable suspicion of drug use, following a workplace accident, and at random. Employers must follow test protocols prescribed by state regulations, including the "strong recommendation" that testing following an accident be done by blood sample.
An employer who tests must have a written policy that includes a statement of the consequences of a positive result and refusing to submit to testing. Employers must give 60 days' notice prior to testing.
An employee who tests positive has five days to contest or explain the result.
Legal Claims for Drug Testing
Even though Wyoming law allows employers to drug test, employees and applicants may have legal claims based on how the test was conducted, who was tested, or how the results were used. Here are some examples:
- Disability discrimination. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ACA) protects an applicant or employee who is taking medication for a disability. Some prescribed medications can result in a positive result on a drug test, 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.
- Invasion of privacy. Even an employer that has a legitimate reason to test might violate employee privacy in the way it conducts the test. For example, requiring employees to disrobe or provide a urine sample in front of others could be a privacy violation, depending on the circumstances.
- Defamation. An employee might have a valid claim for defamation if the employer publicizes a false positive result, if the employer acts maliciously.