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Employers in an employment-at-will state like New York enjoy broad power over employees in the absence of a contract: They may terminate, transfer, reassign job duties, and diminish the pay and benefits of their employees, checked only by limited obstacles imposed by a network of anti-discrimination, anti-retaliation, and similar laws. This power reaches even beyond the boundaries of the workplace. Few at-will employees in New York enjoy any protection against random drug testing by their employers, Matter of Langley, 12 A.D.3d 753 (3d Dept. 2004); and employees have lost their employment through off-duty drunken-driving arrests. Green v. Wells Fargo Alarm Service, 192 A.D.2d 463 (1st Dept. 1993). As venues for obtaining information about individuals become increasingly numerous, and progressively cheaper, employers have more options for learning about — and reaching into — employees’ private lives.

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