Submitting to an employer's demand for a urinalysis test to detect ingestion of drugs means laying your privacy, reputation, career, livelihood and possibly your freedom1 on the line. The chances of being asked to submit to a urinalysis or a polygraph test pursuant to employment are well within the realm of possibility. Virginia Electrical Power Company ("Virginia Power"), the fifth largest employer in Virginia, utilizes both urinalysis and polygraphs as investigative tools. Thus, it is foreseeable that a situation may develop where an employee is fired for refusing to submit to a urinalysis test. This Note focuses on issues that arise when an employee, whether in the public or private sector, is discharged for refusing to submit to a urinalysis. In particular, this Note will analyze the constitutional issues raised by mandatory drug testing, especially as this practice affects public sector employees, and possible causes of action available to private sector employees who have been discharged for failure to submit to mandatory testing.
Gloria L. Freye,
Firing Employees for Refusing to Submit to Urinalysis: The Case for a Uniform Standard of Reasonable Individualized Suspicion,
U. Rich. L. Rev.
Available at: http://scholarship.richmond.edu/lawreview/vol23/iss1/4