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I was suspended for failing a drug test then rehired after the official lab results came back negative. Can I sue?

Vail, CO |

I cut my finger at work and called out of work a week later after it was it got severely infected. They then said I had to be drug tested because it happened on the job. I went in and was told it was going to take 48 hours for test results. Two hours after I took the test my manager pulls me aside and says that I was suspended because I failed for THC. I knew I was clean and immediately got tested at another location and passed. Then a week later I get a call from my manager saying I actually passed and that I was going to be paid for the time I was suspended. I think the word got out that I had solid evidence that I was unrightfully terminated and they got scared . Do I have a chance to get some compensation for possible harassment or anything of that nature? It was with Vail Resort

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Attorney answers 3


Not likely if they paid you for the time that you were suspended. They relied on a drug test. Drug tests are objective tests and sometimes come back with false positives and false negatives. They did the right thing by rehiring you. Given that CO is an at will employment state, you will likely tick off your employers by suing them for making an innocent mistake and then they will fire you. I would simply let this go.

The information provided in this answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you are interested in his legal services, feel free to call Chris at (303) 409-7635 at his law office in the Denver Tech Center. All initial consultations are free of charge.


Of course you can sue. You can sue anyone for any thing at any time. Unfortunately, in your case it is unlikely that you can win.

Can you prove that the employer knew that you had passed the drug test and did not simply make a mistake? What sort of damages have you actually suffered? If you cannot establish that it was more than a mistake and that you suffered actual damages then you have no case. The employer paid you for the time you were off and reinstated you to your job. That is likely all that you are entitled to receive.

You can reach Harkess & Salter LLC at (303) 531-5380 or Stephen Harkess is an attorney licensed in the state and federal courts of Colorado. This answer is for general information only and does not create an attorney client relationship between Stephen Harkess or Harkess & Salter LLC and any person. You should schedule a consultation with an attorney to discuss the specifics of your legal issues.


In your question, you indicate that you were paid for the suspension time. Assuming your personnel file was also corrected, and you do not experience retaliation, it is unlikely that you will be able to establish damages sufficient to prevail on a claim. However, you should consult with an attorney to determine whether you may have viable claims. Please also remember that most claims will be forfeited unless they are brought within specific time periods. Some claims may also require you to file a complaint internally (with the employer) or with an administrative body (such as the EEOC or DOL). Again, it is really impossible to say with certainty whether you have claims you should pursue or not until a full consultation is done by an attorney.

This response is for general information purposes only, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please contact our office at 1-855-255-5413 to schedule a consultation.

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