Drugs in the workplace: Are confessing to using drugs and testing positive for drugs two different things?

confess to doing drugs before they even complete testing. Minnesota employers are allowed to respond differently to an admission of drug usage than to a positive drug test. DATWA makes no exceptions for confessions on company property; the employer may immediately terminate an employee that admits to using illegal substances, if that is consistent with company policy. In that situation, the employer is not responsible for ensuring the employee gets any treatment for a drug addiction. However, if a Minnesota employee’s drug test comes back positive for the first time, the employer may not fire its employee, and instead must allow the employee to go through a rehab or treatment program. (After that program is completed, any positive drug tests may be grounds for termination.) Employers should be aware of state laws when it comes to drug testing employees and what they are legally bound to do if drug tests come back positive. Maine, Rhode Island and Vermont have similar laws to Minnesota’s DATWA, in that the first positive drug test is not grounds for termination; Iowa employers have a responsibility to the employee after the first positive alcohol test, but not after a positive drug test. The National Law Review encourages employers to proceed with drug testing as usual regardless of whether an employee has confessed to drug usage prior to testing.]]>

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