California Drug Laws
We are going to explore two aspects of California drug laws and the information necessary to learn how to pass a drug test in California.
Learning The Basics Of California Drug Laws.
First, we are not attorneys and can not provide specific advice on the California Drug Laws. It is very important you seek professional advice skilled with legal advice that is familiar with the ins and outs of local California drug laws.
Second, for those of you who are concerned with those California Drug Laws being applied to you, we offer information on the major just four major drug tests one might be facing in California.
There Are Four Major Drug Tests Given In California.
Each drug test has its own specific strengths you must avoid and weakness in which one can take advantage. What you learn here could make the difference between failing and passing a drug test in California.
California’s Constitution Gives Employees A Right To Privacy At Work.
California is one of the few states with a state Constitution that includes a right to privacy. That right extends not only to government employees, but to employees in private industry as well. California courts have held that this right is implicated by drug testing, but that doesn’t always mean drug testing is illegal. Testing is judged on a case-by-case basis, balancing the employer’s reasons for testing against the intrusion on the employee or applicant.
Rules for Job Applicants in California.
California court cases have found that employers may require employees to pass a drug test as a condition of employment. As long as an employer tests all applicants for particular job positions and doesn’t single out certain applicants based on protected characteristics (such as race or disability), courts have upheld this type of testing.
California has a “compassionate use” law, which allows residents to use marijuana for medical purposes. State law requires users to get a doctor’s written authorization to use marijuana. A patient who has a valid prescription may not be prosecuted under state law for crimes relating to the use, possession, or cultivation of a certain amount of marijuana. However, California’s Supreme Court has held that an employer may refuse to hire an applicant who tests positive for marijuana, even if the drug is legally prescribed for a disability.
Rules for California Employees in California.
When determining whether a drug test was legal, California courts balance the employer’s reason for testing against the employee’s legitimate expectation of privacy. California has recognized that employees start with a stronger claim here: Employees already have a job (and a work history the employer can use to evaluate their performance), which gives them more of a stake in the process and may give the employer less of a need to test.
An employer that has a reasonable suspicion that an employee is using drugs may be on safe legal ground in testing, provided that the suspicion is based on objective facts. Random testing is more controversial, although courts have upheld random testing for very safety-sensitive positions.
Notice and Procedural Rights for Employees in California.
California statutes don’t set up specific drug testing procedures and protocols. Because of the balancing test courts apply to drug tests, however, employers are more likely to prevail if they take steps to diminish employees’ privacy expectations (for example, by adopting a written policy explaining when drug testing will be required).
Legal Claims Arising From Drug Testing.
Have you been illegally asked or required to take a drug test in California? Even though California Drug Laws allow an employer to drug test, many employees and might may have legal claims based on how the test was conducted, who was tested or how the results were used.
Here are some examples:
- Violation of California Drug Laws And Procedures. Although an employer has the legal right to test, it must follow the state’s requirements. An California employer that doesn’t provide the required notice of its testing policy or observe state procedural rights (for example, by failing to conduct a confirmation test after an initial positive result or by allowing unauthorized personnel to perform the test) could face legal problems.
- Disability Discrimination. An applicant or employee who is taking medication for a disability is protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Some prescribed medications turn up on drug tests and some drugs that would otherwise be illegal (such as opiates) are legitimately prescribed for certain conditions. If an applicant is turned down because of a positive drug test and the applicant’s medication was legally prescribed for a disability, the company could be liable.
- Other Discrimination Claims. An employer who singles out certain groups of employees – for example, by race, age, or gender – for drug testing could face a discrimination claim.
- Invasion Of Privacy. Even an employer that is allowed or required to test might violate employee privacy in the way it conducts the test. For example, requiring employees to disrobe or provide a urine sample in front of others could be a privacy violation.
- Defamation. An employee might have a valid claim for defamation if the employer ( that the employee tested positive, if the employer has reason to know that the test might not be accurate. For example, if a retest showed that the first test was a false positive or the employee has appealed the first test, the employer may be liable for revealing the results of the positive test beyond those with a need to know.
Breakdown Of California Drug Laws.
|Statute of Order:||Exec. Order D-58-86, Labor Code §1025 et seq.|
|Covered Employers:||State agencies.|
|Applicant Testing:||Testing authorized of applicants to state agency positions of “sensitivity” if testing is job related.|
|Employee Testing:||Testing authorized of state employees in positions of “sensitivity.” Employees who test positive may be referred for treatment or may be suspended or removed from job. Private sector and public employers of 25 or more must “reasonably accommodate” employees who want to enter drug treatment programs.|
|Conditions & Methods:||In state agencies, advance notification of employee or applicant, documentation showing chain of custody, and confirming test in case of positive findings.|
|Testing Bullet Points:||
The California Drug Law For Marijuana Possession.
The Vast Majority Of Drug Test Failures in California Are For Breaking California Drug Laws For Marijuana, Not Federal Or Local Laws.
California drug laws have their own specific strengths you must avoid and weakness in which one can take advantage when it comes to marijuana. The same is true of the Federal Laws concerning marijuana.
Marijuana is the third most popular recreational drug in California behind only alcohol and tobacco. Marijuana has been used by nearly 100 million Americans at one time or another with an equal cross-section of people in California using marijuana. According to the federal government, some 25 million Americans have smoked marijuana in the past year and more than 14 million do so regularly despite harsh laws against its use. California is no exception in its implementation of marijuana law.
Unlike alcohol, for which impairment can be reasonably measured using a breathalyzer, valid detection for marijuana requires drug testing. This is time-consuming, complicated and the drug tests for marijuana cannot determine an approximate degree of impairment. The detection of marijuana is also complicated by the various types of drug testing available and the types of myths, half-truths and rumors that surround marijuana drug testing.
Overview Of California Drug Test Laws.
- Who Must Test – Basically state law requires those individuals who work with and for the public must undergo drug testing. For example, city bus drivers and police officers must undergo mandatory drug testing. Of course this is to ensure the safety of the public. Private companies do face some boundaries as to the employees they can drug test and when these tests can occur. All in all however, private companies can conduct drug testing.
- Types of Drugs – There are no state laws set forth by any court in CALIFORNIA stating what types of drugs can and cannot be tested for. Therefore employers have the option to test for something as extreme as heroin or as harmless as ibuprofen. The majority of employers test for only those drugs that might cause impairment on the job.
- Disclosure – Neither public nor private companies are required to post a notice in their place of business that they test employees for drug use.
- Company Statutes – There is no requirement that companies have a formal policy regarding drug testing included in their employee handbook. Therefore an employee cannot expect to find a written drug policy in the employers statutes.
- Types of Tests – There are no limitations as to what type of testing a company can or must use to test for drugs. Therefore a company can opt for the standard urine test or select the more extreme blood test or even request a hair sample be examined.
- Who Pays – No employee can be forced to pay for a drug test. The employer, whether it is a public or private company, must pay all drug testing fees and charges as the cost can be quite prohibitive.
- Who Can Be Tested – In San Francisco an employer cannot test employees for drugs randomly. However, outside of San Francisco random drug testing is allowed if an employee is directly responsible for the public’s safety or conducts an activity that could jeopardize the public’s safety.
- When Can an Employee Be Tested? – There is no set day and time an employee is tested for drug use. Standardly drug testing takes place just prior to starting a job but there is no law that states when employers must drug test. An employer might request a drug test if there is an accident at work to clear the employee of drug use.
- The Lab – Where an employer requests an employee go for drug testing is up to the discretion of the employer. There is no mandatory facility that must be used for drug testing by law or ordinance.
- Positive Results – An employee that test positive for drug use is at the mercy of the company. There is no statute that states a company must or must not prosecute and individual that is found to use drugs. Obviously, at the very least, the employee will probably loose his job. However, if the employer feels it is warranted, charges could be filed against the employee, especially if the public was in jeopardy.