your Michigan employer or prospective employer asked you to take a drug test?
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.
No Michigan Drug
is one of a small number of states that has no law addressing drug testing in
private employment. This means that drug testing is not prohibited or
restricted, unless it violates other legal provisions (such as a law prohibiting
discrimination; see below).
Legal Claims for
Michigan law doesn’t put any limits on workplace drug testing, employees who
believe their test was illegal will have to rely on other legal theories. For
example, an employer may run into legal trouble based on who is tested or how
the test is conducted. Here are some examples:
- 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 (unless the drug is medical marijuana).
- 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
- Defamation. An employee might have a valid claim for
defamation if the employer publicizes a false positive result, if the employer
acts in bad faith and knew (or should have known) that the result was