Can I be Fired for Testing Positive?

 Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about testing positive:

Just a few days ago I was accused of being under the influence of drugs on the job; I do do drugs on my own time but never on company’s time. I had to take a drug test and the test came back positive. Can my employer fire me due to the positive results even when it was done on my own time? —On My Own Time

Dear On My Own Time:
Our site answers questions that are communication related, not legal or medical. Our response to your question should be understood in that light. Apparently your workplace has a drug/alcohol policy. The policy should state the requirement of testing and consequences of testing positive, whether the drugs were taken on company or your own time.

Although the Department of Labor ended the drug-free workplace program in 2010, drug testing is required and important to some types of work and government contract work.  Your work organization should have a policy that states the
–the unacceptability of drug or alcohol use on the job
–what constitutes an infraction of work policy and rules regarding substance abuse
–the consequences if an employee is found to be engaged in substance abuse.

Human Resources can provide you that statement, and you may wish to consult an attorney if you are assigned treatment, suspended or discharged. We hope this testing will inform you of what drug use is wise/unwise for your career and life.

Please feel free to seek additional advice and to share what transpires. Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS.

William Gorden