Kraslawsky v. Upper Deck Co.

56 Cal. App. 4th 179 (1997)

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Kraslawsky v. Upper Deck Co.

California Supreme Court
56 Cal. App. 4th 179 (1997)

Facts

Janet Kraslawsky (plaintiff) worked as an executive secretary at Upper Deck Company (defendant) until the day Kraslawsky refused to submit to a drug test and was terminated. Upper Deck had a policy, to which Kraslawsky consented upon hire, enabling Upper Deck to require drug tests upon reasonable cause to suspect an employee’s alcohol intoxication or influence by drugs. Kraslawsky sued Upper Deck for invasion of her inalienable right to privacy under the California constitution, filing claims for wrongful termination and for intentional infliction of emotional distress. Upper Deck sought summary judgment, which a trial court granted on both claims. Kraslawsky appealed. Kraslawsky argued that Upper Deck had required her to submit to a urine test with no reasonable cause to believe she was under the influence. Upper Deck countered that because its suspicion-based drug-testing policy was constitutional, a lack of reasonable cause did not matter. Alternatively, Upper Deck argued that it had reasonable cause and Kraslawsky lacked evidence sufficient to raise an issue of material fact for a jury, among other arguments. Upper Deck proffered that two of its managers had seen Kraslawsky at her desk appearing to be under the influence. Kraslawsky responded that she did not give an appearance of intoxication, and she recounted having lucid conversations with both managers. One manager stated in deposition testimony that he thought Kraslawsky might have been having female problems, and the other thought she might have been ill. Neither manager indicated a suspicion that Kraslawsky was under the influence. Further, Kraslawsky recounted an incident one week before in which she verbally objected when one of the managers announced that secretaries would no longer be paid for working overtime. Kraslawsky subsequently refused to work overtime and was fired the day after.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Haller, J.)

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