Massachusetts Drug Laws
We are going to explore two aspects of Massachusetts drug laws and the information necessary to learn how to pass a drug test in Massachusetts.
Learning The Basics Of Massachusetts Drug Laws.
First, we are not attorneys and can not provide specific advice on the Massachusetts Drug Laws. It is very important you seek professional advice skilled with legal advice that is familiar with the ins and outs of local Massachusetts drug laws.
Second, for those of you who are concerned with those Massachusetts Drug Laws being applied to you, we offer information on the major just four major drug tests one might be facing in Massachusetts.
There Are Four Major Drug Tests Given In Massachusetts.
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 Massachusetts.
Pass A Hair Drug Test.
Pass A Saliva Drug Test.
Pass A Blood Drug Test.
Massachusetts Drug Laws For Employees.
Although many states have passed laws regulating or restricting an employer’s right to require drug testing, Massachusetts has not. Massachusetts legislation does not address drug testing in private employment.
However, the Massachusetts Supreme Court has issued a ruling on random drug testing in private employment. In Webster v. Motorola, the Court found that the validity of an employer’s policy of random drug testing had to be weighed on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the employee’s job responsibilities and the employer’s interests. The Court found that a random drug test policy was valid as applied to an account executive who drove up to 25,000 miles per year for the employer. However, it was not valid as applied to a technical editor whose job did not involve national security or pose an immediate risk to health and safety. The editor’s right to privacy outweighed the employer’s interest in drug testing.
Legal Claims Arising From Drug Testing.
Have you been illegally asked or required to take a drug test in Massachusetts? Even though Massachusetts 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 Massachusetts Drug Laws And Procedures. Although an employer has the legal right to test, it must follow the state’s requirements. An Massachusetts 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 Massachusetts Drug Laws.
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The Massachusetts Drug Law For Marijuana Possession.
The Vast Majority Of Drug Test Failures in Massachusetts Are For Breaking Massachusetts Drug Laws For Marijuana, Not Federal Or Local Laws.
Massachusetts 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 Massachusetts 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 Massachusetts 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. Massachusetts 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 Massachusetts Drug Test Laws.
- State Laws on Drug Testing – The State of Massachusetts has taken the stance of limiting drug testing by private employers severely. This action is the result of case law by the State Supreme Court. Private employers are curtailed in who may be tested, when they may be tested, where testing is to occur and how testing is conducted and what substances may be tested for.
- Types of Drugs Under Massachusetts law – The types of drugs that may be tested for by private employers are not specified therefore no testing can or must be done to determine abuse by the employee. The usual laundry list of drug types that could be tested are the same in Massachusetts as elsewhere, but the law doesn’t require or permit private employers in most cases to conduct workplace drug testing.
- Policy Disclosure – Since employers are severely curtailed in the level and type of drug and alcohol testing that may be conducted, there is no mandated disclosure required under State law or regulations. Since so few employers are allowed to test, the disclosure mandate is not required.
- The Written Policy – As with the disclosure regulations, private companies are not permitted to require drug testing of employees or prospective employees, therefore no written policy guidelines exist under Massachusetts law, statutes or regulations. Since employers are limited in the testing that can be done under State law, there is no mandate to set a policy for testing.
- Types of Drug Test – For private employers, no regulations are on the record in Massachusetts regarding what type of drug and alcohol testing may be conducted for employees or prospective employees. Although the usage of drugs can be determined from a testing standpoint, the State has taken the approach of limiting any type of drug testing by private companies.
- Paying for Drug Tests – The state law in Massachusetts provides for employer payment of all medical exams performed upon employees or prospective employees as a condition of employment. However, there is not yet a legal determination in Massachusetts as to whether a drug test is considered to be a medical exam and therefore covered under the above statute.
- Where Can Drug Tests Be Done? – No regulations, statutes, laws or court decisions define the location where drug tests can be performed. Such tests could be performed in any certified SAMHFA facility with accurate results, but the State does not speak to the location of drug testing.
- Mandatory Testing – Private companies in Massachusetts are limited to workplace testing only on individuals in safety sensitive positions.
- When Can Drug Testing Be Done? – Random testing for drug usage is even more strictly limited. It can only be done if the employee is in a position that has the potential for safety issues to other employees or to the general public.
- Testing Positive – Again, there is no provision under Massachusetts law, statutes or regulations for results of a positive drug screening test. The issues are not addressed under law or in the decisions of the courts.