QLD Illegal Drugs Testing in the Workplace?

Discussion in 'Employment Law Forum' started by Anthoney Long, 10 May 2015.

  1. Anthoney Long

    Anthoney Long Member

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    At the end of last year, I was accused of doing drugs at work, which was a false claim. I was told the only way for the issue to go away was to submit a drug test. I was also told that there were people willing to back up the claim. I have issue with the fact that the people that were claming this were nameless and I was told that I would not be told who they were. Also, I have checked my employment contract and in there there is nothing about submiting a drug request by demand. I used to work for Coles (the company in question).

    I was forced to leave about two weeks before Christmas. I have also had trouble finding work since then as in have two trades and no one will give me an interview.

    What are my employee rights, what can I do?
     
  2. Ivy

    Ivy Well-Known Member

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    Hi there,

    1. Did you submit the drug test? If so, what was the result?
    2. Why were you "forced to leave"? Were you fired? What was the reasoning your employer gave you?
     
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  3. Anthoney Long

    Anthoney Long Member

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    No, I ended up leaving as I was upset by the whole situation, didn't take the test at all as there was nothing in my work agreement saying I must. I was pushed to my limits so I quit, but I have people willing to back me up saying I was set up.
     
  4. Ivy

    Ivy Well-Known Member

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    It is my understanding that if an employer has a reasonable suspicion that their employee is engaging in illegal conduct (for example coming to work under the influence of drugs) then it may not be unreasonable to ask them to voluntarily submit a drug test to clear up the suspicion. If they had fired you for refusing the test then that may give grounds for an unfair dismissal claim. However you left before Christmas and we're now in May so you're well past the application deadline for unfair dismissal.

    Alternatively, you may have grounds for a defamation claim. What is the primary reason that you cannot get an interview for another job? Is it because false rumours have been spread about you taking illicit drugs?
     
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  5. Annika

    Annika Member

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    Hi Ivy.

    l did the test at work. l got a false positive and l was dismissed immediately. I told the worker the test is wrong but she didn't listen to me and asked for my things. I left and went to another clinic and took the test again and surprise it came back all negative. l lost my job but wasn't there for 6 months so can't claim unfair dismissal. But l was wondering what else should do?

    The company didn't even send my urine test to pathology. It tested for benzodiazepine and l.new it was wrong.

    Anyway, can you help? Do you know of anyone suing for this before?
     
  6. Adam1user

    Adam1user Well-Known Member

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    How was your relationship with management and other workers in the company? from what you wrote, it seems that you did not have a good environment. There maybe issues which you did not write here. If you did not fit the company culture (I am not judging you or claiming anything negative- just giving an opinion on the situation as I read it) that may be the reason they wanted you out.

    I am not a lawyer and my knowledge is limited in this area, but if you did not fit the culture there, then it is better for you to leave, it may not have been a good way but you really don't need the stress and as long as you know you are right and that was the reason, then you can look for other jobs and start fresh.
    Good luck.
     
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  7. Annika

    Annika Member

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    I got along fantastic with my colleagues. With one exception. This has given me a great opportunity to upskill and get better work. I have to say though the humiliation of being claimed to have tested positive was very hurtful and damaging to my reputation. I have sought legal advice and am moving on with the future. Thanks for replying.
     
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