Jottings By An Employer's Lawyer

Monday, May 19, 2003

Texas Supreme Court Chooses Federal Drug Testing Rules Over Common Law Cause of Action

Last week, the Texas Supreme Court refused to find a duty of an employer to use care when gathering a urine specimen in order to conduct random testing required by the United States Department of Transportation regulations. Mission Petroleum Carriers, Inc. v. Solomon (Tx 5/15/03). Justice Jefferson's opinion relies on both the comprehensive federal scheme of drug testing set up by the DOT regulations, and the danger that the rule requested by the plaintiff would cause to the employment at will doctrine. Some of his colleagues disagreed on the at will point, finding it unnecessary and thus not a part of the Court's opinion. See concurrence of Judge Enoch. Bottom line, company not liable for failure to use good care in obtaining urine sample.

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