NFL ensures (relative) fairness in StarCaps case

September, 15, 2009
9/15/09
6:46
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com’s Kevin Seifert


You’ve probably heard by now that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has delayed the suspensions of two New Orleans players while awaiting a resolution of the Williams Wall case in Minnesota state court.

Indeed, defensive linemen Will Smith and Charles Grant will remain eligible to play in the interest of fairness. So in a way, the league is applying a stringent Minnesota labor law to the Saints players so that everyone involved in the case is treated with uniform discipline.

Minnesota defensive tackles Kevin Williams and Pat Williams are fighting four-game suspensions on the grounds that the league’s testing policy for anabolic steroids violates Minnesota law. Tuesday’s news brought to mind this story from Brian Murphy of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, which clearly explains the law in question.

If you’re interested, here is the pertinent excerpt:
Under the 1987 Drug and Alcohol Testing in the Workplace Act, workers are allowed two tests before facing discipline while employers are prohibited from punishing employees who use legal products during non-work hours. Workers in Minnesota can explain why they failed a test before being disciplined. Companies must use specifically licensed or certified laboratories to confirm results and notify employees about a positive test within three working days. Those safeguards exceed protections in 49 other states…

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