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What are Florida Employment Laws on Drug Testing in the Workplace?Client-Focused & Passionate Representation

What are Florida Employment Laws on Drug Testing in the Workplace?


Florida is one of many US states that allows marijuana for medical reasons, and there are even initiatives to get approval to use cannabis for recreational purposes. Between marijuana that is illegal for some and controlled substances that are illegal for all, it can be confusing to understand your rights under employment laws. As a result, there are many employees who inadvertently get caught up in Florida laws on drug testing at work. You could face termination, loss of a professional license that affects your employment, or both.

At the federal level, there are few statutes on testing for controlled substances on the job. There are some related to specialty occupations, such as transportation, NASA, and civilian contractors with the military. Most laws come from state lawmakers, and they can be confusing about whether employers can conduct drug testing in the workplace. A West Palm Beach employment law attorney can explain your rights, and a legal summary is helpful for some background.

 Drug-Free Workplace Rules in Florida: In addition to the fact that the federal government does not force companies to test workers, there is no state law that mandates drug testing for employment. However, there is a financial incentive that motivates many employers to make this a policy.

By rule of the Florida Division on Workers’ Compensation, businesses can get a discount on their workers’ comp insurance when they implement a drug-free workplace program. There are numerous criteria to qualify for the discount, but an important one is testing employees for the presence of controlled substances. If your employer does conduct drug testing in the workplace, it is likely due to the financial benefits.

Employee Rights and Drug Testing: Employers are not permitted to take the process of testing for controlled substances into their own hands. There are numerous rules that serve to protect employee rights:

  • Any company that tests for drugs must provide its policy to employees, in writing.
  • Employees must be given at least 60 days’ notice of the policy before it applies to them.
  • For a positive test, an employee must be given the opportunity to contest and explain.
  • An employer cannot take adverse action after the first test shows positive for drugs. A medical review officer must analyze the results before any termination or other discipline.

 Legal Remedies for Violations of Drug Testing Rules: You do have options if your employer violated the law by not providing notice, discrimination against certain employees, or unlawfully terminating a worker. Depending on the details, you could qualify to take legal action and recover monetary damages. The nature of your remedy depends on how your employer violated the laws on drug testing.

 Count on a Palm Beach Gardens Employment Lawyer for Legal Help

Employees may not be completely free to consume marijuana under Florida employment laws, but you do have rights regarding drug testing at work. Our team at Sconzo Law Office will provide personalized advice on your situation, so please contact us to discuss details. Individuals in Palm Beach County can set up a free consultation by calling 561-279-6114 or going online.

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