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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    3

    Default Co-Worker Arrested for Drugs in Shared Motel Room Provided by Employer

    My question involves labor and employment law for the state of: California,
    I work for a company that often requires we stay in motels for 1 to 2 weeks at a time (paid for by the company) they put 2 people per room. About a year ago the person they had me sharing a room with had drugs with her left them on her bed when she left to go to jobsite, housekeeping found them reported to police, after both of us being being questioned and accused by police for awhile and them saying that both of us were going to be arrested , she admitted they were hers. She was arrested , charged and convicted for this.
    I was very upset about this whole ordeal., The onsite supervisor knew what had happened, told me he had reported it to the district supervisor, and that I didn't need to worry about anything like that happening again.
    About five weeks here is the same person still working for the company she said they never even said anything at all to her about it, and that I am lucky she admitted it was hers that she should have denied it and they wouldn't have been able to prove it was hers, acting like I owed her something for not getting both of us arrested. We didn't have motel rooms at the job I encountered her at then, . But not very much longer down the road here she is scheduled to be my roommate at another job. I ended up sleeping in my car at several jobsites because I wasn't about to stay in a room with her again. Then I declined a few jobs because she was scheduled to work them also, and I really don't like having to work with her. Now my employer says they don't have any work for me. But she is working all the time.
    So I am wondering if there is anything I can do ?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    23,938

    Default Re: Co-Worker Arrested for Drugs in Shared Motel Provided by Employer

    Yes. There is.

    You can start looking for another job.

    I'll venture to guess that the reason she's still working there and you aren't, is that she didn't decline several jobs. You did. Do that often enough, and no employer is going to have work for you.

    I get why you're upset. But the employer is not obligated to fire her or even speak to her about her arrest (and you're just taking her word that no one spoke to her about it? Just because she says so doesn't mean that's the truth) and there isn't any law that entitles you to dictate to the employer who you will and will not work with. She was arrested and convicted; she didn't get away with anything. Your employer was nice enough to continue to employ her and not kick her out into the street. That's their right. Given that you're in California and it was a drug crime, it may even be their obligation. If you don't want to work with her, that's YOUR choice but it is not your right under the law for the employer to schedule you to always work with someone else. Looks like you dug your own hole.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    3,018

    Default Re: Co-Worker Arrested for Drugs in Shared Motel Provided by Employer

    The OP shouldn't trust the drug using coworker to do anything. The OP should go to someone higher than her supervisor and tell them why she is refusing to room with the drug user. This may well end with the OP being terminated because while the employer certainly can't force the OP to room with that coworker they can certainly fire her for not doing so and if she is smart she will prepare for that evenuality by having a new job available.

    Just because a business test tests new hires it doesn't mean that they have to ever test them again and many if not most employers don't test because their insurance company or anyone else requires it so there is no barrel for them to be over.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    16,948

    Default Re: Co-Worker Arrested for Drugs in Shared Motel Provided by Employer

    Quote Quoting rmmart
    View Post

    So I am wondering if there is anything I can do ?
    Yes, file for unemployment and find another job.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Posts
    168

    Default Re: Co-Worker Arrested for Drugs in Shared Motel Provided by Employer

    An employer cannot fire you for refusing to engage in criminal activity, like being in a place where illegal drugs are being used under the awareness of the employer/supervisor.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    7,288

    Default Re: Co-Worker Arrested for Drugs in Shared Motel Provided by Employer

    Quote Quoting Chuck77
    View Post
    An employer cannot fire you for refusing to engage in criminal activity, like being in a place where illegal drugs are being used under the awareness of the employer/supervisor.
    The problem is that the OP did not refuse to engage in criminal activity. The employer did not direct the OP to do anything criminal. It is not a crime under either federal or California law to simply be "in a place where illegal drugs are being used." I can sit next a guy who is doing lines coke and not commit any crime, for example.

    I think that the OP's employer should have taken steps to ensure that in the future the other employee would at least not bring drugs along on work trips and for all we know the employer did that. It might have also been a good idea to have the employees in separate rooms. But while you and I might not like how the employer handled it, there was nothing illegal about what the employer did. If you think the employer did something illegal in what it requested of the OP, please share the law that the employer violated. If the employer did not violate the law, then there was no wrongful termination here. Remember, employer does not have to do the morally right thing, or the smart thing, or the popular thing. The employer needs only to ensure it doesn't violate the law. That leaves lots of room for employers to do things you may not think are right but that are perfectly legal.

    Some of your posts suggest that you assume that actions you don't like are also illegal. You post here reinforces that, as you ask us to apply "common sense" to determine that the employer is acting illegally. I see plenty of potential clients who assume the same thing. But it is not a good assumption to make. The law does not always reflect common sense. Nor does the law make everything that some might see as morally wrong a crime.

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