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  #1  
Old 08-19-2011, 04:27 PM
GreenHell GreenHell is offline
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No employment if you're on medicine?

My wife has chronic pain. When FMLA ran out, she lost her job. Now she is still periodically taking narcotic painkillers. She says she can't get a job because the opiates would show up on a drug screen. I wouldn't think this is a problem, but she insists that it is standard practice for employers to not ask questions and simply reject any applicants who are taking medication. There is plenty of medical support for a medical problem from several doctors/facilities. The presence of an observable, physical problem is well documented. Ironically, she has worked for years in the healthcare industry. So . . . medicine is only for patients? Workers are expected never to need or use prescription drugs? FWIW, we live in Louisiana (admittedly the home of much anti-drug hysteria). Does she really have to be off of everything before she can get any employment? Thanks in advance.
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  #2  
Old 08-19-2011, 04:37 PM
jasonh300 jasonh300 is offline
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Does she have a current prescription for these drugs?
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Old 08-19-2011, 04:41 PM
kunilou kunilou is offline
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It's going to depend on individual employers. Some of them will make a blanket decision not to hire anyone who fails a drug test, legitimate prescription or not. Others will consider it on a case by case basis, assuming your wife has sufficient documentation. Really all she can do is be upfront with the employer before she even takes the test, and see what they say.
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Old 08-19-2011, 04:43 PM
Skald the Rhymer Skald the Rhymer is offline
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Originally Posted by GreenHell View Post
My wife has chronic pain. When FMLA ran out, she lost her job. Now she is still periodically taking narcotic painkillers. She says she can't get a job because the opiates would show up on a drug screen. I wouldn't think this is a problem, but she insists that it is standard practice for employers to not ask questions and simply reject any applicants who are taking medication. There is plenty of medical support for a medical problem from several doctors/facilities. The presence of an observable, physical problem is well documented. Ironically, she has worked for years in the healthcare industry. So . . . medicine is only for patients? Workers are expected never to need or use prescription drugs? FWIW, we live in Louisiana (admittedly the home of much anti-drug hysteria). Does she really have to be off of everything before she can get any employment? Thanks in advance.
The drug testing firm my company uses asks applicants to list any drugs they are currently taking or have taken within the last month. If an applicant tests positive for, say, Vicodin, we'll want to see the prescription. But assuming such is available, that won't be a bar for employment.
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Old 08-19-2011, 04:54 PM
obbn obbn is offline
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As a fellow chronic pain sufferer, I feel for your wife. I no longer work, due to the level of pain and problems assosiated with the large amount of narcotics, however when I did I was subject to random drug test. I was on pain meds then and I just informed the person drawing the blood what meds I was on. Never ended up being a problem for me, however I was already working.
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  #6  
Old 08-19-2011, 05:02 PM
chorpler chorpler is offline
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Originally Posted by GreenHell View Post
My wife has chronic pain. When FMLA ran out, she lost her job. Now she is still periodically taking narcotic painkillers. She says she can't get a job because the opiates would show up on a drug screen. I wouldn't think this is a problem, but she insists that it is standard practice for employers to not ask questions and simply reject any applicants who are taking medication. There is plenty of medical support for a medical problem from several doctors/facilities. The presence of an observable, physical problem is well documented. Ironically, she has worked for years in the healthcare industry. So . . . medicine is only for patients? Workers are expected never to need or use prescription drugs? FWIW, we live in Louisiana (admittedly the home of much anti-drug hysteria). Does she really have to be off of everything before she can get any employment? Thanks in advance.
The way it was explained to me was as follows:

Ideally, the employer contracts the drug testing to a lab; if you have a valid prescription for the medication, they're supposed to return a negative result for the drug test. The employer shouldn't need to know about the prescriptions the employee is taking. There are, however, some jobs that you aren't allowed to do even if you're taking prescription medications legally; generally these involve safety concerns like operating heavy equipment, driving buses, flying airplanes, etc.
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  #7  
Old 08-19-2011, 05:03 PM
picunurse picunurse is offline
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I would suspect it would depend too on the type of work and the drug. If the work requires dexterity or complicated mental or physical activity, then being on opiates would make the work difficult or even dangerous.

Since, in most states, I believe, it's illegal to drive while on opiates, I imagine employers might view it as a liability.
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  #8  
Old 08-19-2011, 05:13 PM
obbn obbn is offline
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Originally Posted by picunurse View Post
I would suspect it would depend too on the type of work and the drug. If the work requires dexterity or complicated mental or physical activity, then being on opiates would make the work difficult or even dangerous.

Since, in most states, I believe, it's illegal to drive while on opiates, I imagine employers might view it as a liability.
I think that you have hit the nail on the head. The problem your wife might have getting employed might be directly related to the type of job she is trying to get. Any job that requires driving, flying, and such might prove problematic. The company's view I suspect would be that if an accident happened and it was proven that the person responsible was on narcotics and the company was aware of it, then that places them in jepordy of losing a suit.
Just a thought, but thinking more on it the best bet would be to be 100% upfront and honest with a potential employer if the mention of drug testing comes up. Better to be upfront than have to explain when bells go off.
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  #9  
Old 08-19-2011, 05:13 PM
Uber_the_Goober Uber_the_Goober is offline
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Sounds like your wife reaaally doesn't want to work. Or reaaally doesn't understand the system at all. I just had pre-employment drug testing and it was made quite clear that prescription drugs were not going to bar me from employment, so long as I listed them and provided current prescriptions.

My drug test was in PA and I expect the laws to be similar across state lines.
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  #10  
Old 08-19-2011, 05:52 PM
chorpler chorpler is offline
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Originally Posted by picunurse View Post
Since, in most states, I believe, it's illegal to drive while on opiates, I imagine employers might view it as a liability.
I don't know about that -- it's almost always illegal to drive while intoxicated, and an opioid-naive person would probably become intoxicated by taking opioids. But how many states have laws criminalizing driving with any detectable level of opioids in the blood?
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  #11  
Old 08-19-2011, 05:52 PM
alphaboi867 alphaboi867 is offline
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I had to take a drug test for my current job. An actual "go to the lab and pee into a cup with a tech outside" test. I was told in advance to either bring copies of any prescriptions I was on or the actual bottles. I don't know wether or not the employer would be informed what meds somebody was on. There jobs that involve driving or operating heavy machinery, but I don't work one of those. The form I took to the lab just had boxes to check off indicating wither it was a blood, urine, or hair test and wether it had to be witnessed or not.
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  #12  
Old 08-19-2011, 06:52 PM
Digital is the new Analog Digital is the new Analog is offline
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Not to mention that not all jobs require drug tests. My current employer, for instance, does not.
My previous one used to, but stopped about 8 years ago.


-D/a
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  #13  
Old 08-19-2011, 07:56 PM
boytyperanma boytyperanma is offline
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The employer doesn't get your medical information. They don't get to go through your list of prescriptions. The drug test is done by a certified lab that would lose their license if they were handing over your medical information to the potential employer. The lab tests and reports only on illegal drug use.

If you have a prescription for a drug and the lab is aware of this they don't count it as a illegal drug. The employer only gets informed of a pass or fail. I don't even think the lab can inform the employer what caused the failure without your informed consent. You do not fail for having legally acquired drugs in your system.

If she's looking for excuses as to why not to pursue employment I guess her complaints good enough. Seems like she's reaching a bit rather then sticking with a more valid complaint of 'I'm in chronic pain and don't want to go to work in this condition'
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  #14  
Old 08-19-2011, 09:51 PM
SparkleLilly SparkleLilly is offline
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Originally Posted by GreenHell View Post
My wife has chronic pain. When FMLA ran out, she lost her job. Now she is still periodically taking narcotic painkillers. She says she can't get a job because the opiates would show up on a drug screen. I wouldn't think this is a problem, but she insists that it is standard practice for employers to not ask questions and simply reject any applicants who are taking medication. There is plenty of medical support for a medical problem from several doctors/facilities. The presence of an observable, physical problem is well documented. Ironically, she has worked for years in the healthcare industry. So . . . medicine is only for patients? Workers are expected never to need or use prescription drugs? FWIW, we live in Louisiana (admittedly the home of much anti-drug hysteria). Does she really have to be off of everything before she can get any employment? Thanks in advance.
If it is prescription, and she can document it, she will very likely be able to work. Unless her job would be a truck driver, forklift operator, pilot, doctor, etc, where being on such meds could endanger others.
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  #15  
Old 08-19-2011, 09:52 PM
SparkleLilly SparkleLilly is offline
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Originally Posted by SparkleLilly View Post
If it is prescription, and she can document it, she will very likely be able to work. Unless her job would be a truck driver, forklift operator, pilot, doctor, etc, where being on such meds could endanger others.
But wait, if she can return to work, why not go back to the old employer? Even if she finished FMLA, if she re-applies they might take her back.
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  #16  
Old 08-20-2011, 12:02 AM
Green Bean Green Bean is online now
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I'm on a prescription drug that makes me fail drug tests. It's not a problem.

I go and take the test. Then I get a call the next day from a doctor associated with the lab telling me I failed and asking me if I have a prescription. Then he checks with the doc/pharmacy, and since it's legit, tells the company I passed. Because I have passed. I'm not using anything I'm not supposed to.
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  #17  
Old 08-20-2011, 12:40 AM
picunurse picunurse is offline
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I don't know about that -- it's almost always illegal to drive while intoxicated, and an opioid-naive person would probably become intoxicated by taking opioids. But how many states have laws criminalizing driving with any detectable level of opioids in the blood?
In this state and in the two previous states I've lived, the law was Driving Under the Influence. Here it includes any drugs legal and illegal that impairs the ability to drive.
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Old 08-20-2011, 01:15 AM
Broomstick Broomstick is offline
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While in theory the only time you'd get kicked for taking a legitimate prescription is when it's a safety issue (as mentioned - those operating heavy machinery or working in transportation) the fact is that there is prejudice out there, and things are not as always confidential as they should be.
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Old 08-20-2011, 06:45 AM
picunurse picunurse is offline
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Originally Posted by Broomstick View Post
While in theory the only time you'd get kicked for taking a legitimate prescription is when it's a safety issue (as mentioned - those operating heavy machinery or working in transportation) the fact is that there is prejudice out there, and things are not as always confidential as they should be.
I agree, but there are other positions in which a clear mind is of upmost importance. I would never dream of going to work in the ICU with any opiates on board.

That said, the general public, that includes bosses have been misled about opiates, addiction and the effects and side effects of pain managment medications, in general.
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Old 08-20-2011, 07:40 AM
Broomstick Broomstick is offline
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I agree, but there are other positions in which a clear mind is of upmost importance. I would never dream of going to work in the ICU with any opiates on board.
Wouldn't that include the use of heavy machinery? But yes, that would certainly be a safety issue.
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  #21  
Old 08-20-2011, 08:05 AM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is offline
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Wouldn't the ADA protect workers with a valid prescription? It'd be a lawsuit waiting to happen if a job is denied due to a medical condition that requires a particular drug to control it.
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Old 08-20-2011, 08:49 AM
Broomstick Broomstick is offline
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Yeah, except if you're unemployed with no income good freakin' luck trying to get a lawyer to help you with that.
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  #23  
Old 08-20-2011, 01:07 PM
AndyLee AndyLee is offline
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Wouldn't the ADA protect workers with a valid prescription? It'd be a lawsuit waiting to happen if a job is denied due to a medical condition that requires a particular drug to control it.
Unless that drug interferes with you being able to do the job. I am going to be out of work next week and I've done a lot of looking a lot, and I have been on several drug tests already.

Seems companies are being much more free with them, then in the past. I don't do any drugs but still didn't get the job. Every drug test I went on gave me the option of getting a copy of the result for myself. I asked for it, but haven't got anything back.

I often wonder if there isn't some kind of a work-around to where the employer can see the results. Or it may be a tactic to scare off people who use drugs. I mean why bother taking the test if you know you're gonna fail.

I know the employer isn't supposed to see the actual results, just the pass/fail, but we all know in the real world what is supposed to happen, often times does not happen at all
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Old 08-20-2011, 02:13 PM
Hello Again Hello Again is offline
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Yeah, except if you're unemployed with no income good freakin' luck trying to get a lawyer to help you with that.
You don't need a lawyer to make a complaint to the EEOC. The EEOC may or may not take over your case. Most states have a Human Rights Commission, which also prosecutes cases on behalf of citizens for violations of state-level human rights laws (which, very often, are more protective than Federal laws).

Moreover, many attorneys who do human rights-related cases, work on contingency -- they take a cut if you win, usually 30%, otherwise they work for free.

Last edited by Hello Again; 08-20-2011 at 02:14 PM..
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  #25  
Old 08-20-2011, 03:50 PM
LouisB LouisB is online now
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I had prescriptions for codeine based pain pills while driving for a living; no one ever raised the issue. but I did have to pass a "drug test." But, I was classified as an "independent contractor" and not as an employee; maybe that would make a difference.Strangely enough, I was delivering prescription drugs, including narcotics, to nursing homes at the time. If it mattered, I guess it didn't matter much.
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  #26  
Old 08-20-2011, 04:12 PM
phouka phouka is offline
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Yeah, I have at least two prescriptions that will raise flags on drug tests - Adderall for my ADD will show up as amphetamine (because, really, that's what it is), and diazepam for muscle spasms and panic attacks (Valium). Occasionally, I'll have a prescription for hydrocodone for whatever limb I've managed to damage. I always tell them up front, and I always, *always* get either a panicked or very disapproving call from the testing facility, whereupon I supply them with my doctor's information and they can confirm that it's a legal prescription.

In Texas, they would confirm with my pharmacy. For some reason, out here in California, it has to be the doctor.

Haven't had any funny looks from employers, but generally I'm working in IT, and if they got too picky about what their employees ingested, they wouldn't be able to staff their department.
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Old 08-20-2011, 05:53 PM
aruvqan aruvqan is offline
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Yeah, I have at least two prescriptions that will raise flags on drug tests - Adderall for my ADD will show up as amphetamine (because, really, that's what it is), and diazepam for muscle spasms and panic attacks (Valium). Occasionally, I'll have a prescription for hydrocodone for whatever limb I've managed to damage. I always tell them up front, and I always, *always* get either a panicked or very disapproving call from the testing facility, whereupon I supply them with my doctor's information and they can confirm that it's a legal prescription.

In Texas, they would confirm with my pharmacy. For some reason, out here in California, it has to be the doctor.

Haven't had any funny looks from employers, but generally I'm working in IT, and if they got too picky about what their employees ingested, they wouldn't be able to staff their department.
I just bring in a spare business card for my PCP's office, and list the contact info for the military med by mail program. I give it to them, and give them a typed out list of what I take and they deal with it from there.
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  #28  
Old 08-22-2011, 04:29 AM
chorpler chorpler is offline
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In this state and in the two previous states I've lived, the law was Driving Under the Influence. Here it includes any drugs legal and illegal that impairs the ability to drive.
I've seen a law firm's analysis that "under the influence" doesn't just mean having the substance in your system, but being impaired by it. Their conclusion was that this would mean that a long-term opiate-tolerant patient, for instance, would not be convictable for a DUI just for having some level of a substance in their system as long as they passed field sobriety tests, but anybody who failed sobriety tests and was found to have any drug in their system would be guilty of DUI. This was in California.

If anybody cares, I can probably dig up the cite.
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Old 08-22-2011, 04:34 AM
chorpler chorpler is offline
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In this state and in the two previous states I've lived, the law was Driving Under the Influence. Here it includes any drugs legal and illegal that impairs the ability to drive.
I've seen a law firm's analysis that "under the influence" doesn't just mean having the substance in your system, but being impaired by it. Their conclusion was that this would mean that a long-term opiate-tolerant patient, for instance, would not be convictable for a DUI just for having some level of a substance in their system as long as they passed field sobriety tests, but anybody who failed sobriety tests and was found to have any drug in their system would be guilty of DUI. This was in California.

If anybody cares, I can probably dig up the cite.

Edited to add: I don't know if that analysis is reasonable, though, and would be interested to hear what real lawyers have to say about it, if there are any reading this. I do know that I've seen laws that specifically criminalize having any level of drug X in your body while driving; there was a law like that passed here in Nevada after a teenager who had smoked marijuana recently enough that it was still detectable in the test caused a car accident that killed a bunch of other kids in the car.
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  #30  
Old 08-22-2011, 06:22 AM
Capitaine Zombie Capitaine Zombie is offline
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drug tests???

I'd understand that for a military or police job, but since when do private companies have the right to drug test you?
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  #31  
Old 08-22-2011, 06:35 AM
Nava Nava is offline
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Capitaine, in Spain you can get a drug test as part of your pre-job checkup if it's relevant to the job. Drivers, people operating heavy machinery, people working with dangerous materials in sufficient amounts. Whether you actually get it or not depends on whomever is paying for the test: it can be the employer or, in the case of subcontracting situations, the company at the top of the subcontracting pyramid; people who are self-employed can pay for it themselves and just give the certificate that they've had their checkup to whomever asks (since you're self-employed, the people who are above you in the pyramid don't even get the "pass", just a "this person got a medical checkup").

Medical results are reported as either "pass" or "limited", where "limited" could be something like "should not lift weights above 50kg" (in other words, "have you seen this guy's back? We don't know how can he walk!"). They don't give a "fail", as even people with "Total Disability" can get jobs.

Last edited by Nava; 08-22-2011 at 06:35 AM..
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Old 08-22-2011, 06:40 AM
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Why wouldn't they have the right to ask and you have the right to refuse? They would be at least partially liable for actions you took working for them.

For most of the jobs I have ever worked, it wouldn't bother me to have coworkers on drugs. Any job that had the risk of injury for me that increased if my coworkers weren't paying attention would be a different story though.
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Old 08-22-2011, 07:09 AM
Capitaine Zombie Capitaine Zombie is offline
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Why wouldn't they have the right to ask and you have the right to refuse? They would be at least partially liable for actions you took working for them.
For the same reason employers dont have access to your medical record (at least in most countries). The "employment game" is not a fair game, the possible employer is in a dominating position. If they were left to their own devices, you'd have to give in your credit situation and "confess your sexuality" as well. That's why, in most countries with at least basic labor laws, some things are put off the table for employers' scrutiny.

I can understand specific public services requesting them (especially law enforcement jobs), somehow this seems to have extended to possible risks job (that I can understand but it does sound a lot like a foot in the door thing), now any company can ask for one? Good luck on your interview if you refuse to take the test (and this is the reason why it shouldnt be something employers have the right to ask, you're just in no position to refuse).

First time in my life that I hear about private companies having the right to do this. I really dont know if they are legal in my country. From the basic net search it seems they arent (though there's apparently some shitty company selling "home-kits", more destined for parents wanting to check their kids).
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Old 08-22-2011, 08:36 AM
Zsofia Zsofia is offline
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drug tests???

I'd understand that for a military or police job, but since when do private companies have the right to drug test you?
In the US, it's quite common (particularly for crappier jobs, actually.) Wal-Mart, for example.
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  #35  
Old 08-22-2011, 10:45 AM
Omar Little Omar Little is offline
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NEW THREAD COMING: You have to have a prescription for drugs?
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Old 08-22-2011, 11:00 AM
elfkin477 elfkin477 is online now
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since when do private companies have the right to drug test you?
Since the 80s.
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  #37  
Old 08-22-2011, 11:03 AM
Capitaine Zombie Capitaine Zombie is offline
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Since the 80s.
I dont say this often, but reading this, I can't help but say I'm glad to be living in France.
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  #38  
Old 08-22-2011, 11:17 AM
Boyo Jim Boyo Jim is offline
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The way it was explained to me was as follows:

Ideally, the employer contracts the drug testing to a lab; if you have a valid prescription for the medication, they're supposed to return a negative result for the drug test. ...
Quote:
Originally Posted by chorpler View Post
I've seen a law firm's analysis that "under the influence" doesn't just mean having the substance in your system, but being impaired by it. Their conclusion was that this would mean that a long-term opiate-tolerant patient, for instance, would not be convictable for a DUI just for having some level of a substance in their system as long as they passed field sobriety tests, but anybody who failed sobriety tests and was found to have any drug in their system would be guilty of DUI. This was in California.

If anybody cares, I can probably dig up the cite.
I would like to see a cite for both of these claims.

I think the first has to be pure bullshit. There is no way a company is going to falsify your test results to protect your privacy. They might choose to include some kind of statement in a report like, "... the subject presented an apparently valid prescription for a medication which would in fact give a positive test result". But falsify the results? They could open themselves up to major liability, and lose every customer they had if it was known they did that.

As to the second, some law firm "analyzed" this? So what? Has any court ever ruled that way? Having your pain relieved by a pain killer is certainly being "under the influence" of the drug whether or not your driving is objectively impaired. I have serious doubts whether any law is written so narrowly as to distinguish between two possible states of being under the influence of an opiate.

Last edited by Boyo Jim; 08-22-2011 at 11:18 AM..
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  #39  
Old 08-22-2011, 11:26 AM
SciFiSam SciFiSam is offline
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I would like to see a cite for both of these claims.

I think the first has to be pure bullshit. There is no way a company is going to falsify your test results to protect your privacy. They might choose to include some kind of statement in a report like, "... the subject presented an apparently valid prescription for a medication which would in fact give a positive test result". But falsify the results? They could open themselves up to major liability, and lose every customer they had if it was known they did that.

As to the second, some law firm "analyzed" this? So what? Has any court ever ruled that way? Having your pain relieved by a pain killer is certainly being "under the influence" of the drug whether or not your driving is objectively impaired. I have serious doubts whether any law is written so narrowly as to distinguish between two possible states of being under the influence of an opiate.
(My bolding).

It would depend how the test was worded. If they are supposed to report any non-prescribed drugs then they'd be completely fine presenting a negative result for non-prescription drugs.
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  #40  
Old 08-22-2011, 11:37 AM
Boyo Jim Boyo Jim is offline
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It's extremely unlike that a drug screening would be able to identify a specific prescription drug. They are looking for broad classes like "opiates", and there could be any number of drugs, legal or illegal, that would trigger a positive result. They might be asked, later, by an employer, to do additional testing to verify that it was the specific drug claimed by the subject -- supposing the employer didn't reject the person out of hand because of the first results.

My skepticism remains high. I worked for a company that did testing like this, and they administered very specific tests according to contract. It would be a very exceptional company that contracted to order a different set of tests based on a pre-screening questionnaire to the subjects. It would be much cheaper and easier to run them through the same regimen, and bring back the relatively few people who didn't fit (or toss them aside for reasons like others have mentioned above).
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  #41  
Old 08-22-2011, 11:46 AM
SciFiSam SciFiSam is offline
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Originally Posted by Boyo Jim View Post
It's extremely unlike that a drug screening would be able to identify a specific prescription drug. They are looking for broad classes like "opiates", and there could be any number of drugs, legal or illegal, that would trigger a positive result. They might be asked, later, by an employer, to do additional testing to verify that it was the specific drug claimed by the subject -- supposing the employer didn't reject the person out of hand because of the first results.

My skepticism remains high. I worked for a company that did testing like this, and they administered very specific tests according to contract. It would be a very exceptional company that contracted to order a different set of tests based on a pre-screening questionnaire to the subjects. It would be much cheaper and easier to run them through the same regimen, and bring back the relatively few people who didn't fit (or toss them aside for reasons like others have mentioned above).
Yes, but if they were testing for opiates and the person had a prescription for opiates, then they wouldn't necessarily have to report it. It would test positive for opiates but it wouldn't be something they'd have to report, if that makes sense. Just like when athletes test positive steroids but it's the type used in asthma medications and they have a prescription; they're not reported as testing positive for steroids.
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  #42  
Old 08-22-2011, 11:54 AM
Boyo Jim Boyo Jim is offline
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Originally Posted by SciFiSam View Post
Yes, but if they were testing for opiates and the person had a prescription for opiates, then they wouldn't necessarily have to report it. It would test positive for opiates but it wouldn't be something they'd have to report, if that makes sense. Just like when athletes test positive steroids but it's the type used in asthma medications and they have a prescription; they're not reported as testing positive for steroids.
I'd like to see a cite for that. If they tested positive, they tested positive, even if there is a valid and legal reason for doing so. I think it far more likely the positive result is given to the team, and then it's between the team and the player (and maybe some doctors and lawyers too) to work out whether it's acceptable or not.

If a testing company doesn't report the results at all, they either have to explain why (in which case they are reporting the positive result in some form other than a standard test result), or they are not going to be paid.

Last edited by Boyo Jim; 08-22-2011 at 11:57 AM..
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  #43  
Old 08-22-2011, 12:10 PM
picunurse picunurse is offline
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Originally Posted by SciFiSam View Post
Yes, but if they were testing for opiates and the person had a prescription for opiates, then they wouldn't necessarily have to report it. It would test positive for opiates but it wouldn't be something they'd have to report, if that makes sense. Just like when athletes test positive steroids but it's the type used in asthma medications and they have a prescription; they're not reported as testing positive for steroids.
The steroids in asthma medications are completely different from those used by athletes. The inhaled type don't enter the blood. The asthma drugs are corticosteroids, whereas the others are androgenicsteroids. Different drugs, different tests.

Opiates impair judgment and dexterity whether they are prescribed or not.
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  #44  
Old 08-22-2011, 12:15 PM
Boyo Jim Boyo Jim is offline
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Originally Posted by picunurse View Post
The steroids in asthma medications are completely different from those used by athletes. The inhaled type don't enter the blood. The asthma drugs are corticosteroids, whereas the others are androgenicsteroids. Different drugs, different tests.

Opiates impair judgment and dexterity whether they are prescribed or not.
I understand what you're saying, but our discussion is not really about whether some medications would have different results to a drug screening. My claim is that a drug screening company would not either falsify or refuse to report a positive result to a client company based on a prescription shown to test administrator at the time of the test. The testing company would more likely report the results, and verify (or not) whether the results might be compromised by the prescription.

Last edited by Boyo Jim; 08-22-2011 at 12:19 PM..
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  #45  
Old 08-22-2011, 04:08 PM
chorpler chorpler is offline
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Originally Posted by Boyo Jim View Post
I understand what you're saying, but our discussion is not really about whether some medications would have different results to a drug screening. My claim is that a drug screening company would not either falsify or refuse to report a positive result to a client company based on a prescription shown to test administrator at the time of the test. The testing company would more likely report the results, and verify (or not) whether the results might be compromised by the prescription.
They're not falsifying the report -- in the drug tests we're talking about (that is, not for safety-related positions) they're testing for illegal drug use, and that's it. So if you have a valid prescription, the procedure is supposed to be:

1) You take the test, informing them that you have a prescription for drug X (or not; they're going to call you back anyway, but often they appreciate it if you have documentation when you come in the first time).

2) They find the results positive for drug X.

3) The Medical Review Officer contacts you to find out if you have a valid prescription for X.

4) You provide the documentation.

5) The drug testing lab reports a negative result for illegal drug use to your potential employer.

Here is a quick and dirty cite; check under the definition of "Medical Review Officer."

Edited to add: In fact, in cases like this, I've been told by a MRO that it was illegal for them to report a testee's prescriptions to the potential employer. I don't know if he was correct or not.

Last edited by chorpler; 08-22-2011 at 04:10 PM..
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  #46  
Old 08-22-2011, 04:58 PM
chorpler chorpler is offline
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Originally Posted by Boyo Jim View Post
I would like to see a cite for both of these claims.

I think the first has to be pure bullshit. There is no way a company is going to falsify your test results to protect your privacy. They might choose to include some kind of statement in a report like, "... the subject presented an apparently valid prescription for a medication which would in fact give a positive test result". But falsify the results? They could open themselves up to major liability, and lose every customer they had if it was known they did that.
I provided a cite for the first part in my last post, but I think you're misunderstanding that they're not testing for drug use in and of itself in these cases, but for illegal drug use. So they're not falsifying the report, they're sending in an accurate report.

In jobs where public safety could be at risk, like truck driving, airplane piloting, heavy equipment operating, etc., your prescription drugs can and do disqualify you, of course.

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Originally Posted by Boyo Jim View Post
As to the second, some law firm "analyzed" this? So what? Has any court ever ruled that way? Having your pain relieved by a pain killer is certainly being "under the influence" of the drug whether or not your driving is objectively impaired. I have serious doubts whether any law is written so narrowly as to distinguish between two possible states of being under the influence of an opiate.

Sorry, I remembered it wrong. What I was thinking of was a memo distributed as part of a brief presentation during a conference I attended on methadone maintenance programs several years ago. Fortunately the California Opioid Maintenance Providers have it on their website, so I was able to find it and refresh my memory without having to dig into my paper files at home (which I would not have wanted to do, believe you me).

The memo was written by Alex Coolman, a San Francisco Lawyer, in July 2005, to Dan Abrahamson, another lawyer, regarding a question about whether or not a driver who was involved in an accident could be charged with DUI if he or she was in a methadone maintenance program.

The memo can be found here, but unfortunately this is a Word DOC file, so be warned before you click on it.

Anyway, part of it says:

Quote:
California Vehicle Code § 23152(a) makes it illegal for a person “under the influence of any . . . drug” to drive a vehicle. In People v. Canty, the California Supreme Court noted that being “under the influence” of drugs for purposes of the vehicle code requires that the drugs

Quote:
must have so far affected the nervous system, the brain, or muscles [of the individual] as to impair to an appreciable degree the ability to operate a vehicle in a manner like that of an ordinarily prudent and cautious person in full possession of his faculties.
This definition, the court noted, is different from the idea of being “under the influence” of drugs in violation of the California Health and Safety code. Someone who is “in any detectable manner” influenced by a drug may violate the health code, but the vehicle code requires that the operation of a vehicle be impaired to an appreciable degree by the driver’s ingestion of the drug.


Again, I haven't looked up the cites (particularly People v. Canty) to see if Mr. Coolman has accurately summarized things, so I can't say for sure whether or not a court has ruled that way. Perhaps one of our board lawyers could check into it and see if the description is accurate.

... okay, while trying to figure out how to get the quote above to be a hyperlink to the DOC file, I also found the People v. Canty case on Google Scholar. As far as I can tell, it does say what Coolman said it said, but I am not a lawyer so hopefully one of you who is actually a lawyer can look it over and see if I'm wrong.
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  #47  
Old 08-22-2011, 05:00 PM
whiterabbit whiterabbit is offline
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Every employment drug test I've ever been involved with included a "if it's legit you're fine" clause, and as I don't drive or use heavy machinery or anything, there's nothing to worry about -- without getting into the legal/ethical side of requiring testing at all, of course.

Chronic pain can be damned disabling but legit opiate use doesn't bar one from working on its own.
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  #48  
Old 08-23-2011, 01:34 PM
md2000 md2000 is offline
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Even funnier - about 2 decades ago in Canada (where drug tests are very rare) a co-worker was first offered her job. One condition was she had to pass the company medical - but when they wanted to do a back Xray, she told them she was a month or two pregnant. The medical people told her "we can tell the company you did not pass the medical without telling them why", their idea of medical privacy. (When we heard, all of us were incredulous that a group of medical professionals could be so stupid) Apparently she had to forcefully explain to them human rights laws - it is very illegal to discriminate about pregnancy in Canada. Finally, their compromise was to conditionally pass her, and she take the back Xray when she was able and that would then allow her to "pass" the medical.

Of course, she had no history of back issues, so that probably helped.
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  #49  
Old 08-23-2011, 03:01 PM
Broomstick Broomstick is offline
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Originally Posted by Capitaine Zombie View Post
I can understand specific public services requesting them (especially law enforcement jobs), somehow this seems to have extended to possible risks job (that I can understand but it does sound a lot like a foot in the door thing), now any company can ask for one? Good luck on your interview if you refuse to take the test (and this is the reason why it shouldnt be something employers have the right to ask, you're just in no position to refuse).
It's linked to class in the US, which is intimately connected with money. Outside of jobs where it is an actual safety issue (in which case testing and monitoring is arguably a reasonable thing to do) the jobs where this is required is invariably those jobs taken by the poor/lower middle class: retail stores, warehouse stocking, etc. It's part of how the poor are regarded as inherently untrustworthy in this country and part of the on-going criminalization of being less than middle class.

Accountants, managers, directors. and executives, and the like in their nice, corporate offices are never drug tested.
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