Minnesota Drug and Alcohol Testing in the Workplace Attorney

Alcohol and Drug Testing in the Workplace

Workers employed in Minnesota have certain rights concerning alcohol and drug testing in the workplace, thanks to the Minnesota Drug and Alcohol Testing in the Workplace Act (also known as DATWA).  Because of the Minnesota DATWA, employers are not permitted to require a job applicant or current employee to succumb to an alcohol or drug test, except if the employer has a written policy regarding alcohol and drug testing, explaining to the current employee the following:

  • Under which circumstances the employee is obligated to succumb to an alcohol and/or drug test;
  • That the current employee has the right to refuse to take the alcohol and/or drug test, and if the employee chooses to exercise that right, the employer must have a written explanation of what the penalties of refusal are;
  • Any corrective or disciplinary action that will be inflicted onto the employee if the alcohol and/or drug test concludes positive results;
  • The employee in question reserves the right to explain why a test may have had positive results, and to take a retest;
  • Whether or not the company has an appeal process or not.

The DATWA also offers protection for employers concerning the consistency of a medical laboratory conducting the alcohol and drug testing, along with the order of actions that preserve rights for the employee.

What are your rights as an employee?

Employees have several rights pertaining to alcohol and drug testing in the workplace.  Some of those rights include:

  • The applicant or employee reserves the right to ask for and obtain a copy of the alcohol or drug test results;
  • The applicant or employee reserves the right to ask for a retest of the original specimen, which the applicant or employee is obligated to pay for.
  • Employers are not allowed to fire, terminate, discriminate against or dismiss an employee based on an initial test with a positive result, if the test has not had a confirmatory retest.
  • Generally, employers cannot terminate an employee in question for an initial and retested specimen, without first offering the employee the option of participating in a program for alcohol and/or drug rehabilitation or counseling.
  • A positive result from an alcohol or drug test is not allowed to be shared by an employer to a third party.
  • If an employee exercises their rights under the DATWA, it is not legal for their employer to retaliate against the employee in question.

If you believe that you have been fired due to a positive alcohol or drug test, or if your employer has not adhered to the correct procedures, you may be eligible to collect lost wages or attorney’s fees, or even to receive your job back.

Every situation is different, and your case depends on various factors.  If your employer, or a company that you applied to, intentionally or unintentionally violated any policies or regulations according to the Minnesota Drug and Alcohol Testing in the Workplace Act, you may be entitles to future pay, back pay, and compensation for attorney’s fees.  Contact Tarshish Cody, PLC today at (952)300-6045 (or fill out the free case evaluation form below) for a free consultation, or if you have any questions regarding the strength of your case.  

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