Monday, April 1, 2013

Drug Testing and Pennsylvania Unemployment Law

Can I Be Fired if I Refuse to Take a Drug Test in PA?

Yes, if the test is required pursuant to company policy.

Not Much Work Around

Usually, company policies state that existing employees can be tested: 1) randomly; or 2) if there is a reasonable suspicion of drug use. 

So, in general, the only way to fight a request for a drug test is if you can prove that you were singled out for testing, and that the employer did not have a reasonable basis for believing that you were using drugs when it did so.

Will I Get Unemployment in Pennsylvania if I am Fired Because I Failed a Drug Test?

No, unless you can prove that the test was not required in accordance with company policy.  See discussion below. 

Will I Get Unemployment in Pennsylvania if I am Fired Because I Refused to Take a Drug Test?

No, unless you can prove that the test was not required in accordance with company policy.

This is covered under Pennsylvania 43 P.S. Section 802(e.1), which states that an employee is ineligible for UC benefits where the discharge is:

          due to failure to submit and/or pass a drug test conducted pursuant to an
          employer’s established substance abuse policy, provided that the drug test
          is not requested or implemented in violation of the law or of a collective
          bargaining agreement.


John A. Gallagher is an employment lawyer who represents employees in Pennsylvania.

Click Here if you have questions about any aspect of employment law, from wrongful termination, to wage and overtime claims, to discrimination and retaliation laws, to Family and Medical Leave…

Click Here if you have questions about any aspect of Pennsylvania Unemployment Law, from willful misconduct, to voluntary quit, to Referee Hearings, to severance issues…

Click Here to e-mail John directly.

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