You have a right to privacy but when it comes to that privacy being a danger to others, you may feel stuck between a rock and a hard place. While some employers may be more than flexible if you have a medical issue requiring prescription drug use, other employees may not want anything to do with the liability and would rather fire you no questions ask.
If you were required to be on prescription medications but knew it would be a safety hazard to others on the job, what would you do? There have been many lawsuits involving employees who were fired after testing positive for drugs they were legally allowed to take for medical reasons. These employees fought back against the termination because they essentially had no guidelines to follow or medical leave to take when prescriptions medications were prescribed. They took their medications and went to work.
In the same breath, these employees under the influence of legal drugs did not always make the best choices when it came to the welfare of co-workers. While taking medications explicitly warning of the possibility of drowsiness and the danger of operating machinery, they still assumed their duties and ended up injuring others or themselves on the job.
Employees can be hard-pressed to decide what to do when the company offers no alternative course of action for such medical matters. Those who can not afford to miss work will still report for duty despite the danger it may pose. They fear losing their job for being unable to perform their duties. It can truly feel as if they are stuck between a rock and a hard place.
If you are required to take medication under the supervision of your doctor, you should follow the protocol in the employee handbook and if there is none, speak with a supervisor about what to do next. Getting back on the forklift without saying a word not only puts you at risk but everyone else on the job.