Layoff for Refusal to take Drug and Lie Detector Tests

MGT 516 Module 3 SLP – Employee Rights/Safety

One of your old college roommates who now lives in New York City just called you. He said he was on vacation this week attending a cross-dressing convention, and got a call from his boss. His boss told him he just lost his job in a layoff along with 50 other employees in the same private-sector company with 850 employees (pre-layoff). His boss told him he was being laid off effective immediately because he refused to take a lie detector test concerning drugs found in his company locker. He also refused to take a drug test because he was afraid that a false positive would result in the state child protection agency taking away custody of his children. Discuss the legal ramifications of this situation.

  • For example, discuss how the Polygraph Protection Act, Worker Adjustment & Retraining Notification Act, and/or any privacy laws, discrimination laws, safety laws, or state drug testing law(s) might apply.
  • Bring in at least 2 TUI library sources plus any applicable background readings to help strengthen your discussion.

Layoff for Refusal to take Drug and Lie Detector Tests

Numerous laws that govern employee recruitment and hiring have been developed in the U.S. Some of the regulations govern the recruitment process while other governs the conduct of the employee and employer in the course of employment. It is important that an understanding of these laws be developed in order to avoid violations which could result in expensive law suits. While making mass layoff, it is important that regulations that govern such a process and circumstances that precede employee layoff must be examined thoroughly to avoid possibility of legal suits to the employer.

Read also Dismissal Meeting For An Employee Layoff

In the case provided, the friend’s layoff for refusal to take drug and lie detector tests have numerous legal implication under the federal and state legislations that govern employee’s rights. Employees have rights to privacy which must be observed by the employer. Although employers may develop workplace policies that govern employee privacy such as searches, this should be explicitly described to indicate the areas the employer has the discretion to conduct searches. The employee dismissal due to drugs that were found under the locker could attract legal suits in form of infringement to rights to privacy, unless the employee had expressly indicated in workplace privacy polices the areas that they can warrant searches. For example, the employer could indicate that the company may conduct search on employee lockers for purpose of drug investigations.

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            However, although the company may have privacy policies that may clear them of any legal suit as a result of infringement of the employee right to privacy, the nature of the layoff creates room for legal suits by the employee. According to (DelPo, Guerin, & Barreiro, 2016) under the New York Employee Polygraph Examination laws, employers are prohibited from suggesting, requesting or using the results of a lie detector tests. The employee has a right to refuse to undergo lie detector test, unless the employer deems such a process necessary because the employee is involved in workplace incident that caused economic loss or injury. The case points no incident to such cause that warranted the use of lie detector on the employee and the employer will face suits under the New York Employee Polygraph Examination laws.

            Enacted in 1988, the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act) require the employers to provide advance notice to the employees and other during significant layoffs (, 2017). The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act apply to employers with over 100 employees during the time of the layoff. The employer in the case failed to provide a written notice of layoff to the employee but rather chose to inform the employee about his layoff through a phone call. In addition, the layoff would take effect immediately, meaning the employer failed to provide an advance notice. Also, the company failed to inform the employee representative and the local government and state dislocated worker unit about its layoffs.  The layoff is against the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act and is subject to legal suits by the employee, caused by dismissal without a 60 day prior written notice. This could result in the company being fined or ordered to offer pay back to the employee for the period of 60 days. Moreover, failure of the employer to conform to the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act requirement that requires private employers to report its layoffs to the local government and state dislocated worker unit is another source of legal suits which could result in fines being imposed on the employer.

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