Lawyer Referral Service

LRS Blog


Posted by: Maricopa Lawyers on May 28, 2015

If you’re new to Arizona or are looking to change jobs in the state, you may face an employment screening that includes drug testing. It’s important to know the laws to make sure your rights are protected when being interviewed by a potential employer. Like most other states, Arizona has laws that allow drug testing in certain situations, as long as your potential employer follows the rules. Here are those rules at a glance:

Rules for Job Applicants
An employer in Arizona is allowed (but not required) to require applicants to take a drug test as a condition of employment, but the employer must inform applicants if they require it. An employer is also allowed to refuse to hire you if you won’t submit to a drug test. Your employer can test you for the following reasons:

  • to maintain productivity, safety, quality, or security
  • as part of an accident investigation or an investigation of possible employee impairment, or
  • on reasonable suspicion of drug use.

Employees’ Rights
If your employer conducts drug tests, they must adopt a drug testing policy and provide that policy to you before they test you. It must include specific information about the testing program, including the consequences of a positive test or of refusing to submit to drug testing. There are also laws that specify the procedures your employer must use for gathering samples and maintaining confidentiality.

Possible Legal Claims Against Employers:

  • Procedures. Although an employer has the legal right to test, it must follow the state’s requirements. If your employer doesn’t provide the required notice of its testing policy or observe state procedural rights, they have violated the law. For example, they cannot fire or discipline you before confirming that the test came back positive.
  • Prescription Medications. If you’re legitimately prescribed medication for a disability, and that medication would otherwise be illegal, you’re protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act. The company could be liable if you’re denied employment or disciplined.
  • Discrimination. You may also have a discrimination claim against an employer who singles out certain groups of employees for testing, for example, by race, age, or gender.
  • Invasion of Privacy. Even though your employer’s allowed to test, they cannot invade your privacy, such as requiring you to disrobe or provide a urine sample in front of others.
  • If you think that one of these scenarios might apply to you, talk to an experienced attorney about your rights.