Testing of employees

The Puerto Rico Supreme Court Provides Guidance on Drug Testing Law

By Ana B. Rosado and Eddalee Quiñones

iStock_000016354947Small_petri_dish_pipette.jpgA recent ruling by the Puerto Rico Supreme Court interprets relevant sections of Act 59, known as the "Act to Regulate Controlled Substances Detection Tests in the Private Work Sector", to clarify that, when subjecting employees to undergo drug testing, hair samples can be used only when the circumstances justify not conducting the drug testing with a urine sample.  The High Court also elucidated as to when additional drug tests are permissible after the result of the first drug test has been deemed inconclusive or invalid.

In Ortiz v. Holsum of Puerto Rico, Inc., 2014 T.S.P.R. 35 (2014), the employer subjected the employee to a drug test.  The result was positive for cocaine.  The Company allowed the employee to undergo rehabilitation treatment, as required by law, and advised him that if he tested positive on a second occasion, he would be terminated from employment. 

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