Testing for illegal drugs

Testing for illegal drugsWilson v White Plains, 95 NY2d 783 The Appellate Division reinstated Ian Scott Wilson to his position of firefighter with the City of White Plains. Wilson had been terminated after testing positive for large quantities of benzoylecgonine (a metabolite of cocaine) in his urine. In annulling Wilson's dismissal, the Appellate Division said that in directing [Wilson] to submit to blood and urine tests, the fire department officials relied upon an unsubstantiated and anonymous letter and that there was no objective evidence, which would have suggested that the [firefighter] was abusing alcohol or drugs. The Court of Appeals reversed the Appellate Division's decision noting that the parties agreed that a public agency may lawfully order an employee to submit to a drug test on reasonable suspicion of drug use. The Court of Appeals found that the hearing officer concluded that the White Plains had reasonable suspicion to conduct the test, holding that the Appellate Division erred in concluding otherwise. According to the decision, in addition to its receiving an anonymous letter concerning Wilson's alleged use of drugs, the City presented evidence of Wilson's physical manifestations of substance abuse the day he was tested, his long record of excessive absences, his prior substance abuse problems, his reputation for showing up at work under the influence, as well as his understanding that he could be tested if he showed any signs of recurring substance abuse. The Court of Appeals then remitted the case to the Appellate Division for it to consider a number of Wilson's contentions that it had not addressed when the case was initially argued before it in light of its ruling in this appeal.

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