One listener wants to know if it’s legal for only some workers to have to take random drug tests. I’m Amy E. Feldman.
Listener Leslie R. wrote in because she works for a city that requires all employees to take random drug tests, but subcontractors aren’t required to do so and she wants to know if that’s illegal. If drug tests are administered discriminatorily like only for a certain race it would be illegal, but not making nonemployees subject to their rules is not illegal.
It’s understandable to feel how a kid feels when only his mom makes him come home at 11 but other kids can stay out later—so unfair! But a mom would say: “I’m not the other kids’ mom. I’m only in charge of you.” And to a certain extent, that’s true here too. An employer is liable for the bad actions of its employees, but it can pass liability down to subcontractors for their misconduct so it’s not irrational—and it’s not illegal—not to take on drug testing responsibility for nonemployees.