A number of employers require potential and existing employees to do a drug test. Private employers are normally not required to get consent from workers to test, and their staff are usually subject to sanctions should they refuse to engage in a lawful drug test request.
Critics to drug testing policies have over years claimed that tests violate the privacy of employees, but they have not been successful in getting drug tests done away with. While drug testing does not violate the rights of an individual, the manner in which a test is carried out may at times cross the line. Read on to know circumstances in which drug tests are allowed, and whether it is legal for the person supervising the drug test to watch you pee.
When are Drug Tests Allowed?
Drug tests are allowed in the following situations:
- Pre-Employment– Courts have upheld pre-employment drug testing by reasoning that employers have a right to look for drug-free employees, and that applicants are at liberty to choose not to apply for jobs requiring drug testing if they don’t want to be tested.
- Reasonable Suspicion– Once an employer reasonably suspects that an employee is using drugs, he/she is allowed to order for a test. What constitutes to reasonable suspicion may vary depending on the court. These include an employee’s erratic behavior, a report of worker’s drug use by a reliable source, and evident physical symptoms of drug use.
- Random testing – Random drug tests are often attacked as a violation of employee privacy rights. Some states have statutes that prevent random testing, but many courts uphold random testing more so in safety-sensitive workplaces and in work environments with no direct employee supervision.
- Post-Accident– Post-accident drug testing normally impacts on the compensation claims of workers. A positive claim following an accident leads to a presumption that the accident was a result of intoxication that should be rebutted by the employee before he or she can claim any compensation benefits.
Is it Legal for Someone to Watch Me as I Urinate During a Drug Test?
The appropriate answer here is, it depends. Some juries have found this an unreasonable privacy violation. However, a number of courts have held that it is rational to apply safeguards that protects against urine specimen tampering.
- Requiring the person being tested to wear a hospital gown
- Listening to someone urinate
- Checking the urine’s temperature
- The dying of toilet water
In most cases, the technician on duty is required to supervise you give the sample, meaning that it may be legal for someone to watch you urinate during a drug test. This is done to disable you from giving someone else’s sample, which would compromise the integrity of your drug test.
This may come as a surprise to many, but in some circumstances it may be the only effective way to ensure that the urine sample is not tampered with.
Nevertheless, you can challenge a drug test on constitutional grounds if it was done in a manner that disrespects your privacy rights, if it was done inappropriately or otherwise excessively, and if the results of the tests diverged indiscriminately.