If your Florida employer or prospective 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.
Like many other states, Florida has a drug-free workplace program regulating drug testing. Employers who establish such a program can qualify for a discount on their workers’ compensation insurance premiums. However, employers must follow the state’s rules to get their discount. Florida employers must test in certain circumstances, and must observe certain procedures intended to protect employee and applicant rights.
Florida employers who have a drug-free workplace program are required to drug test applicants who have received a conditional offer of employment. If an employer requires applicants to take a test, it must include a notice in its job announcements or ads regarding the testing requirement.
Florida employers with a drug-free workplace program must test employees in the following circumstances:
In addition, employers may conduct random drug testing.
An employer that conducts drug testing must give its policy to employees in writing, and employees must have at least 60 days’ notice of the policy. Employees who test positive have five days to contest or explain the result. An employer may not take any adverse personnel action on the basis of an initial positive result that has not been verified by a confirmation test and a medical review officer. State laws also require employers to use certain procedures for gathering specimens, testing, maintaining confidentiality, and so on.
Employees who voluntarily seek treatment for substance abuse cannot be fired, disciplined, or discriminated against unless they have tested positive or been in treatment in the past.
Have you been illegally asked or required to take a drug test? Even though Florida law allows employer 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: