Kansas City Drug Testing Policies
Sometimes, it feels like companies are making you jump through hoops so you can work for them. Some stipulations are reasonable. Certain jobs and responsibilities need strict oversight. However, there are times when the requirements we must endure to work feel unnecessary and even violating.
Drug testing is a regular part of the working experience. Many places require pre-employment drug tests with strict deadlines for the results for candidates to be considered. Some places continue to administer drug tests to their current employees for various reasons. While there are some benefits to having drug tests, it is one of many tools that employers can use to violate workers’ rights. For that reason, you should stay informed about Kansas City’s drug testing policies.
Pre-employment Drug Testing Laws for Workers in Kansas City
The most common type of drug testing is a pre-employment test performed as part of a drug screening process. For these tests, an employer will usually require a candidate to take a drug test from a third-party lab and then send in the results as part of the application or hiring process. Most states allow pre-employment drug screens, though some require employers to notify applicants.
According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, pre-employment drug screens should be performed after a conditional job offer has been issued. Federal law mandates that companies intending to conduct drug screenings must first have a written policy in place that is at least 30 days old before starting a drug-screening program. They should also follow state rules about providing notice and following procedures intended to prevent discrimination and inaccurate samples.
There are no state laws regarding drug testing in Missouri, so companies must follow federal laws where required. In Kansas, drug testing is permitted for applicants to safety-sensitive jobs after a job offer has been made, but job ads for these roles must notify potential applicants of these drug tests.
Continued Drug Testing Policies in the Workplace
The Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 was enacted to minimize workplace substance abuse. Under this statute, employers in certain industries are legally required to take action against drug use in the workplace. For example, employers hiring for safety-sensitive jobs such as drivers, heavy equipment operators, construction workers may subject their employees to random screenings. Drug testing current employees can serve several purposes:
- To serve as a deterrent for positions that necessitate sobriety
- To investigate whether a workplace accident was drug-related
- To keep illicit drugs out of the workplace
These drug tests serve an important purpose: to keep employees safe. That being said, there are cases where drug testing is used unnecessarily.
City Council Eliminating Pre-employment Marijuana Testing for Most City Government Workers in Kansas City, MO
Marijuana is commonly used for recreational and medicinal purposes and remains illegal or largely prohibited in many places. One of the primary purposes of drug testing is to screen candidates who use illegal drugs, but pre-employment marijuana testing has a reputation for being used in discriminatory hiring practices.
In September of 2021, members of the city council in Kansas City, Missouri approved local ordinance no. 210627 with a landslide majority of 11 to 1. This statute makes it illegal for Kansas City to require a marijuana drug test as a condition of employment for certain city positions. This will prevent pre-employment marijuana testing for most prospective government employees. Many people see this ordinance as one step towards Kansas City becoming a fairer place to work.
Certain government positions are excluded from the protections of this law, including:
- Law enforcement
- Commercial drivers
- Carers of vulnerable individuals, such as children or medical patients
- Employees in positions that impact public health or safety
In the case of these positions, it is important for the employees to be sober. Marijuana testing reduces the risk of employing someone who might be under the influence of drugs on the job.
Learn Your Rights under Kansas City Drug Testing Policies
Drug tests are supposed to be performed to keep workers and the populations they serve safe from the after-effects of illicit drug use. Though this is a noble cause, it does not prevent employers from using drug testing policies as a way to discriminate or oppress their workers and job applicants. In the hands of an unethical employer, drug tests can be an invasion of privacy and can lead to wrongful termination, defamation, and discrimination.
At Hollis Law Firm, we are no strangers to supporting workers who are ready to stand up for their rights. Our attorneys are dedicated to protecting our clients’ rights, so we work tirelessly to stay updated on the law to provide our clients with impeccable service. If you have been affected by unethical drug testing policies, contact our firm for a free consultation to evaluate your case. To schedule your free and confidential consultation, call (800) 701-3672 or submit our contact form.
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