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Discharged for Drug Test Eligibility for Unemployment Massachusetts

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  • Discharged for Drug Test Eligibility for Unemployment Massachusetts

    background:

    My friend failed a drug test for work after being out on a medical leave for a leg infection for a few weeks. The doctor said it came back barely positive for cocaine and then asked him if he had had any local anesthesia lately which he had. He faxed the paperwork from the hospital to the doctor who then said the anesthetic that was used wouldn't cause a false positive and later the company told him to turn his keys in etc. He plans to challenge the fact that he is not being allowed a second test and that the first test had to be some sort of false positive.

    Meanwhile he has applied for unemployment benefits in MA and is unsure if he will be able to collect. Does this constitute misconduct that would deny him unemployment? If he is denied and appeals that and the company does not show up at the hearing will he then receive unemployment?

    Any feedback would be appreciated.

  • #2
    Cocaine test, searchs for a very specific derivative of cocaine called N. Methyl ecgonine.
    This is highly specific of cocaine, and itrs presence, can indicate only:
    1.- Use of cocaine
    2.- contamination of the sample
    Local anesthetics such as lidocaine, mepivacaine, marcaine, etc, do not produce such metabolite, and traces of other product (if used in fairly high doses) are amino phenol….

    If the test turned positive, it is wise to repeat it.
    Somebody in this test is lying….(no offence meant)

    Comment


    • #3
      Drug screen companies usually split the sample in half and if it comes back positive test the second half as well.

      If a second test was given it would allow time for the drug to leave the system which is why many companies don't allow retesting.

      I have fought unemployment (employer's side) on the grounds of a failed drug screen in MA and won. I had to show chain of custody forms and the drug screen results.

      All you boyfriend should say to unemployment is the truth. Then the company tells their side and the hearing officer makes the final decision. If your boyfriend loses he can appeal.

      Comment


      • #4
        It was the same as when I was underwriting life ins. applications. If we got a positive drug test, rarely would we allow a repeat. The reason being the same - by the time they asked for the repeat & had it done, the drug could be out of the system.
        Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

        Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

        Comment


        • #5
          Yeah, they turned them down for a retest.

          When the unemployment hearing comes up I told them to see if the lab retested the same sample with a gas chromatography-mass spectrometry test. While the tests used looking for metabolites are considered accurate they do not test for the actual substance itself. There is also the issue of false positive rates for the batch of test kits. That rate is available from the test kit manufacturer.

          Certainly no one will have spent the money on a gc-ms retest and no one will bother to check with the manufacturer for a batch specific false positive rate but that should introduce at least some doubt in the hearing and regardless of the reason for no retest this seems similar to a no appeal process.

          At this point they are just hoping for the unemployment for a short time to be able to find a new position.

          If anyone else responds please focus on the unemployment hearing and appeal process because thats the goal here. Thanks very much.

          Comment


          • #6
            No one here can say whether he will or will not receive unemployment ins. - it's the state's decision. Our opinion doesn't count. All he can do is tell the truth.
            Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

            Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

            Comment


            • #7
              I was hoping for some informed answers from people who may have been involved in a similar situation re the Massachusetts unemployment hearings.

              I know from HRinMA's answer that they expect to see a chain of custody for the urine and the test results.

              Originally posted by Betty3 View Post
              No one here can say whether he will or will not receive unemployment ins. - it's the state's decision. Our opinion doesn't count. All he can do is tell the truth.

              Comment


              • #8
                I think HRinMA & myself told you all we can re getting UI. No one here knows what the decision will be in any individual UI case. You can check back though for other possible replies.
                Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

                Comment

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