Can Prescription Drugs Negatively Impact Employment?
In today’s world of routine drug testing in the workplace, employees are often concerned a prescription medication may affect a drug test.
A common concern may be “can I lose my job for taking it?” Or “does my employer have a right to know what medication I am taking?”
Because some prescription medications can affect an employee’s ability to work safely, employers may have a legitimate interest in addressing them in their drug-free workplace policy.
“We are frequently approached by employers with questions about prescription drugs and how to handle them,” said Janet Matteo, Compliance Specialist with USA Mobile Drug Testing of Central Long Island, which provides on-site drug testing to companies. “And fortunately, there are very specific guidelines on how to handle these situations, so that the employee is protected.”
Indeed, employers cannot discriminate in their hiring and firing practices based on an individual’s use of prescription medication for legitimate medical purposes, and such discrimination could be a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The ADA also prohibits an employer from asking disability-related questions unless they are job related and consistent with business necessity.
Services like USAMDT help companies to handle delicate drug testing matters correctly, as they limit a business’s exposure to liability for making non-compliant decisions.
As Matteo points out, there are a myriad of laws which protect the worker in situations like this, and “it’s best to let a qualified drug testing outfit oversee this very important aspect of a business.”