October saw a victory for plaintiffs who filed a wrongful termination case against the Children’s Hospital of Central California. Children’s Hospital of Central California is a pediatric hospital that can be found just north of Fresno in California.
This particular case was based upon a long standing 18-year old employee of the Children’s Hospital of Central California who was improperly drug tested on his day off; which was eventually found to be in violation of the employee’s constitutional right to privacy.
In the state of California, drug testing of current employees is subject to a more stringent analysis by the legal system in comparison to pre-employment drug testing. Employers who drug test current employees must identify a compelling reason that supports their decision to drug test, i.e. a reasonable belief that an employee was intoxicated on the job. This type of situation would strengthen the argument that drug testing the employee was a reasonable action.
Testing an employee during their off-duty hours is seen as particularly invasive and is more likely to be found as invasive by the courts.
It would seem that juries support the courts general opinion on the matter as the jury made its decision on this case on October 16, 2014 after both sides presented their arguments. They found that the employee’s privacy had been violated and that this violation of his rights had resulted in his wrongful termination, which is in violation of California employment law. As a result the plaintiff was awarded $1,035,000.00.
If you feel you are being bullied or mistreated by your employer, please get in touch with one of the southern California employment law experts at Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik today.