Stark County employees ask Ohio Supreme Court to reconsider ruling on drug testing privacy case

Stark County employees ask Ohio Supreme Court to reconsider ruling on drug testing privacy case

STARK COUNTY, Ohio (WOIO) - Stark County employees are asking the Ohio Supreme Court to reconsider its decision in a drug testing privacy case.

Last month, 19 News told you when the judges ruled four to three that companies do have the right to have someone watch employees urinate for a drug screen.

Donna Lunsford and two of her former coworkers are suing the Sterilite company, saying it switched to direct observation drug testing in 2016.

“You pull your pants down to your ankles and they literally view your genitals as you’re urinating. And to me, it’s an invasion of privacy,” Lunsford said.

Lunsford said she complied in 2016 because she didn’t want to lose her job.

“You do what you’re told,” she said.

In front of the supreme court this year, Sterilite’s attorneys told justices there that the method was necessary at the height of the opioid crisis.

“The legitimate business interest is ensuring the integrity of the test,” their attorney said.

The employees in the lawsuit say they signed a consent form before being told the direct observation method would be used.

However, accenting justices wrote in their decision that by taking the tests under direct observation, employees consented to the method.

Lunsford’s attorney, David Worhatch said, “The problem with the consent form she signed, is that it did not mention that the method would allow someone to gawk at her genitalia while she produced the urine specimen.”

That’s one reason Lunsford and the other two plaintiffs in the suit are asking the supreme court to reconsider their ruling.

Noting that of the 11 judges who have seen this case in different courts so far, six of them have sided with the employees.

On the contrary, the Sterilite company filed a motion in opposition of reconsideration.

If the court decides to reconsider, there could be another hearing in the case.

19 News coverage of this story has gotten the attention of several state lawmakers.

A handful say they will consider proposing new legislation to regulate when employers can use the direct observation method.

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