I’m a supervisor and received a text from an employee because they had to submit to a random drug test and this drug test is not related to the employer. Does an employer have the right to ask the employee why they are having to submit to this random drug testing? Is it advisable to do so or should the employer avoid asking any questions related to this?

Rita Risser Chai replies:

The employer does not have the right to ask why they are submitting to the drug test, and it could be a violation of law if the employer asks why. The Americans with Disabilities Act, for example, protects people who are undergoing drug abuse rehabilitation. There is also the general law of privacy, although arguably the employee did not treat the information as private by telling you. The safest approach is “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

Posted 07-18-2017

Information here is correct at the time it is posted. Case decisions cited here may be reversed. Please do not rely on this information without consulting an attorney first.