An MD conducting a pre-employment drug screening was not willing to accept my primary care physician’s verification that I had a legal prescription for Vicodin, which was detected in my urine. He demanded (and documented the demand) that I cut the label off my prescription and send it to him. I often work with criminal defense attorneys, and many people are now getting arrested and charged criminally for defacing prescription bottles. Cutting the label off then leaves me with tablets in unlabeled condition. Rather than risk a criminal charge, I drove more than 1,300 miles to his office and presented him with the intact, properly labeled medication. He refused and noted in his charting that this was not adequate proof of a proper prescription. I wrote him and requested that he correct the records to accurately reflect the prescription, but he refused. Ultimately the hospital hired me for eight weeks and then terminated me without cause, leaving a blight on my record. Do I have any recourse?
Nancy Brent replies:
The question submitted sounds quite absurd if it is factually correct. It is unclear why a physician would want an individual to cut off a prescription and send it to him/her in order to verify a valid prescription. The physician could have called the pharmacy that filled the prescription to check its validity if he/she did not believe your physician’s documentation of the prescribed medication.
Another issue is your hiring and subsequent firing. Although an at-will can be fired for no reason at all (unless based on a discriminatory motive), there may be a connection with the situation with the physician you described.
A consultation with a nurse attorney or attorney in your state would be a good idea. The attorney can discuss this situation with you specifically and provide options for you to consider. For example, if possible, obtaining your personnel records would be helpful in order to determine what documentation is in the file. Likewise, obtaining the records from the pre-employment examination would be important as well.