Workers’ Rights & Whether You Can Be Fired for Drug Use

Can I be fired for drug use on or off the clock?

When our drug addiction takes hold, it can be a scary time. It becomes all we think about and seems to impact every aspect of our life. That includes at work. Our drug addiction might lead to lower performance, missed days, lack of motivation and outbursts. All of them might change our status with our boss or employer.

We also wonder if we can be fired for our drug use. The short answer is yes, but there are many more layers to the concept and you might have options before your employer lets you go.

If your addiction is impacting your job performance, reach out to a medical professional or the staff at Country Road today. They can talk about your addiction and help you get started immediately on the road to recovery.

What Is The Law?

Under federal and most state laws, employers are free to fire employees or job applicants when their drug use impacts their job duties, or they use while on their shift. If an addiction has grown so strong that a person uses at work, they can be fired.


Many states also consider workers “at will.” This is where a person can be fired for any reason with no warning.


Many workplaces also have drug-free agreements that employees adhere to. If your work has its own policies about being drug-free, they can let you go for drug use on the clock. Employers can also require drug tests and fire people who fail or refuse to take the test. However, they are required to notify employees about the upcoming tests and their rights.


Workers’ Rights


There are few workers’ rights if they are fired for using drugs on the clock or if it impacts their work performance. The laws and company policies allow people to be fired. Many states will also allow companies to fire employees for using drugs off the clock as well, as it could potentially hurt their performance or impact the company’s image in public.


Where worker’s rights come in is that companies cannot take addiction against a person because they seek help or are in recovery. An addict in recovery cannot be terminated simply because of their past drug use. Many companies will also not terminate employees for getting the care they need.


Most companies will also allow leave or time off for an employee to enroll in treatment. Many workplaces and bosses care about their employees and want them to get better. It is also good business sense to retain someone and let them get help and start the road to recovery than go through the hiring process and bring someone new on board.


Getting The Help You Need


If you are an employee and drugs are impacting your life or work responsibilities, reach out to our staff at Country Road now. They can talk to you about your drug addiction and treatment options. They can even discuss using your work health insurance to pay for care.


If you start the road to recovery, you can get the help you need before losing your job because of drug addictio