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Legal Considerations in Drug Use Testing: Privacy Rights, Contracts, and Wrongful Use of Test Results

NCJ Number
Journal of Forensic Sciences Volume: 34 Issue: 6 Dated: (November 1989) Pages: 1477-1481
R T Chamberlain
Date Published
5 pages
Although there are many legal issues associated with substance abuse testing, this presentation deals with only three areas: privacy, employee contractual concerns, and wrongful use of test results.
Privacy must be considered under the Federal and State constitutional guarantees to public employees, or whether one is a private employee so as not to determine applicability. In addition, there are State and Federal statutes to deal with along with private civil actions such as the tortious invasion of privacy. Under contractual relationships, courts have gone a long way from allowing termination-at-will to public policy exceptions of forensic and implied covenants and guarantees of requiring just cause before discharge. Union involvement may necessitate bargaining in the implementation of substance abuse testing. The wrongful use of test results most often leads to actions of defamation. 31 references. (Author abstract)