How Colorado Drug Testing Laws Affect Pot Smoking for Employees

Following the legalization of recreational marijuana, employers have been given a leeway to draft their own policies as regards drug usage by their workers. It is imperative to know your rights as an employee when an employer requests a drug testing done on you. Although the federal laws do not have limits on what should employers test, they emphasize testing of employees on safety-sensitive sectors like aviation and transportation. These states of affairs offer the states and local authorities to draft their own employee testing laws. Most of the states have drafted their own employee weed dispensary testing laws but Colorado doesn’t have a clear statutory program guiding workplace drug testing. The existing drug testing laws provide guidelines for drug testing within the context of unemployment. There are no laws that provide circumstances that employers should initiate drug testing and the procedure that should be followed.

In spite of the fact that Colorado Law does not offer protection to employees from the need to take drug testing or from being terminated, there may be a lot of claims that employees may launch in case they feel that they have been wrongly fired or subjected to drug testing. This article will describe some of the claims as follows:

  • Discrimination based on disability-if an applicant or employee is taking drugs related to disability conditions and during drug testing, the medicine turns up under drugs considered illegal, and they are subsequently denied an opportunity or fired, the applicant or employee is free to start a legal suit.
  • Other claims under discrimination-if an employer target specific groups of employees based on various factors like race, gender or age and subjects them to drug testing, such an employer may be liable for discrimination.
  • Invasion of the privacy-an employer may face invasion of privacy claim depending on the way they conduct their drug testing. For example, if the employer requires an employee to produce urine in front of other people, the employee may launch an invasion of the privacy test.
  • Defamation– an employee may sue an employer if the latter publicizes that the former tested positive especially if there are compelling reasons to convince the employee that the results may not be true. For instance, a retest may prove that the first test was not accurate and employee appeals. As the appeal is processed, the employer publicizes the results of the test which showed a false positive.

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