Vails similar to the ones used for drug and blood tests.
Unsplash | Testalize.me

Woman's Work Tells Her She's Getting Drug Test, Actually Gets Pregnancy Test

In the U.S., workplace drug tests are still pretty commonplace. While the worker shortages starting in 2021 has resulted in more employers scrapping the tests, they still pop up every now and then.

At the very least, they're still common enough that many workers will submit to one without much question. But one woman who did a routine drug test got more results than she was bargaining for.

On September 13th, Twitter user Claire McKay Bowen shared her friend's story, looking for advice.

"My friend did a part time job for the local school district," Bowen writes. "When she got her results, she found out that the district also did a pregnancy test."

Bowen's friend was not notified of the pregnancy test beforehand.

A woman who looks both shocked and disgusted.
Giphy | Paramount+

In her tweet, she sees the test as an ethical issue, as well as a "legal red flag."

Her tweet since went viral, with over 20,000 retweets and 163,000 likes.

Many commenters were puzzled and offended by the story.

"I've been in charge of drug test vendors & setting up screens for a decade. I've NEVER seen pregnancy tests as part of the process," user Emma wrote. "I can see no reason, beyond discrimination, that it's necessary."

Some figured it could be technically legal.

Based on the consent Bowen's friend would've signed, it's entirely possible that a pregnancy test could've been included in the form. While it's definitely an invasion of privacy, it could also be something that's technically legal.

Others suggested it could just be routine for cancer screening.

For males, a positive pregnancy test could indicate the presence of testicular cancer, since the disease releases hormones similar to pregnancy in females. But this would still be a really weird thing to do for an employer.

In an update, Bowen clarified that there was no such clause in the consent.

In addition, the friend's male partner did not get a pregnancy test. It's looking more and more like this was some kind of legal and ethical violation.

Dr. Bowen also mentioned that the friend in question disclosed that she'd had a hysterectomy.

Though, that doesn't seem like something an employee should have to disclose to her employer. In any case, the fact that she had to take the test makes no sense.

But, as others have pointed out, this could have terrifying implications.

Some users theorized that the government could be using pregnancy tests to monitor whether or not people opt for abortions, which is a contentious issue thanks to the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade in June.

In any case, it might be best for Bowen and her friend to consult an attorney.

At best, it was some kind of horrible accident. At worst, this is some kind of trap set up for abortion-related charges.

And there's also the fact that discriminating against pregnant people is illegal.

It's against the law to deny a woman (or pregnant person) a job on the basis of their pregnancy. This sounds like a huge legal overstep, and Bowen's friend needs to beware of this employer.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments!