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Justify drug testing program with business-Related rationale

Many government employers ask applicants to submit to drug testing before beginning work. A recent 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling may make employers rethink that strategy and prepare to clearly articulate a business-related reason for drug tests. A blanket testing policy may spell trouble …

The EEOC’s new initiatives for 2008: All talk … or a real threat?

In recent months, the EEOC has made a lot of noise about new initiatives to combat workplace discrimination. Three of the most prominent include (1) the E-RACE Initiative, (2) employment testing and (3) protections for caregivers … 

Who pays for pre-Employment medical exams?

Q. We require new employees to undergo pre-employment medical exams. May we require a new employee to cover the cost of the exam? We have 35 employees …

Drug testing after a workplace accident

Q. Last week, one of our employees drove a piece of equipment into a shelving unit. The employee caused substantial damage to the equipment and the products on the shelves. He could have seriously injured a co-worker. The employee’s supervisor reported that the employee’s eyes were glassy and bloodshot. Can we require the employee to submit to a drug test? — S.S., White Bear Lake …

Results of this test: Auto industry to pay $1.6 mil


The courts look unfavorably on literacy tests for positions that don’t directly require writing skills, as seen by a recent U.S. District Court decision for the Southern District of Ohio. The court awarded $1.6 million to 700 black workers who were screened out of apprenticeship programs at Ford Motor Company, Visteon Corp. and Automotive Components Holdings …

No need to accommodate Rx marijuana use

The California Supreme Court has ruled that an employer doesn’t have to accommodate an employee’s marijuana use even though he had a valid prescription. Employers can and should continue to use post-offer, pre-employment drug tests if having a work force free of impairment is an important safety consideration …

Hiring tests must reflect true work conditions

 Women accounted for half of new hires at an Iowa meatpacker until the company instituted a new pre-hire lifting test. Then the percentage of women fell to 15%. Fifty-two female applicants who failed the test and weren’t hired sued for discrimination and won $3.3 million …

Are there California laws analogous to the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act?

Q. I know that as an employer, I have to abide by GINA and not discriminate based on genetic information. But are there any state statutes addressing this matter?

Know the rules for Georgia’s drug-Free workplace program

Georgia employers participating in the state’s drug-free workplace (DFW) program must be careful to strictly follow the program’s guidelines or risk incurring workers’ compensation benefit liability they never intended …

Minnesota Drug and Alcohol Testing in the Workplace Act

Minnesota’s Drug and Alcohol Testing in the Workplace Act (DATWA) limits employers’ ability to test employees and independent contractors for illegal drugs and alcohol. While DATWA does not require employers to perform drug testing, it governs the process if employers elect to do so …