Drug Tests For Job Applicants
Drug testing during employment is a common practice by many employers nowadays. However, this process leaves applicants always wondering if they should agree to the test. As a candidate looking for a job, do you agree with taking a urine drug test, blood test or a hair follicle drug test?
Do you wonder if you have any legal rights to resist drug testing?
This article explains the reasons for employment drug testing and the rights an applicant has in the process.
Why Employers Drug Test?
It is not common to all employers because there are some restrictions. For example, most private companies are not allowed to run drug or alcohol tests. However, there are exceptions to this rule, for instance, the transportation sector. It is allowed because of safety measures.
Other bodies approved taking alcohol, and drug tests are those which are regulated by individual federal agencies. You must be wondering why employers carry the process if it’s not required.
Reasons For Drug Test
i) To avoid legal liability – In our workplaces, we all understand that we are under the employer. It means that if anything happens to you at your place of work, your employer should be held responsible. In this case, suppose a drunkard employee harms his/her co-worker?
The company will be legally liable for such an accident. To avoid such liabilities, the employer will choose to carry drug tests to minimize such injuries at the workplace.
ii) Saves money – As we all know we buy drugs, they are not for free we are all aware of that. Every drug has its site effects. These site effects cause a problem in our healthy or our normal functioning of the body.
Therefore, this calls for other expenses which may involve treatment and rehabilitation. If you sum together all such expenditures, it will be a lot of money.
Now think of a situation whereby the employer pays for your hospital bills. Is that not a burden to your company? And will the company just sit and give you a job without thinking of such risks? Definitely No, and that’s another reason why employers run the drug test.
iii) Maintain productivity. Employees who take drugs in most cases they will be late for the job. They will cause or be involved in injuries in the workplace. When such things happen, it means that the flow of the work will stop or go down at some point.
The aim of a business is to make profits and achieving them will not be possible when work doesn’t flow the way it is expected to flow. So to avoid all these delays, the employer will choose to run a drug test before giving you a job.
iv) To qualify for workers’ compensation. The company enjoys discounts when their employees maintain certain standards of the drug-free zone in the workplace. And for them to get these discounts, they must make sure that their employees are not using these drugs.
You cannot maintain a drug-free workplace if you are using the drugs. Employers run drug test to make sure that the working environment is clean and free from drugs. Thus, a good way to get the discount on workers’ compensation insurance premiums.
Legal Limits On Drug Testing
Drug testing is a private matter. Running drug tests has proved that, it won’t reveal only the results for current drug use but other personal problems too.
When taking the tests, it tells how long you have been taking the drug and whether you are addicted or not. Some of these tests will require the doctors to surrender body fluids. In this case, drug testing becomes intrusive.
To analyze the matter and process of drug trials, legislation has seen the need for applicant protection. Therefore, there are limits put by state and federal laws on when, how and if the tests should be carried out.
It is not a must you take a drug test; any prospective employer will not force you to do so. The company will put it as a condition during employment, but you should do it as per the rules. If you are not interested in the test, then you pull yourself out and let the job be.
Legal Limits That Might Apply To An Applicant’s Drug Testing
a) Violation of state state-required procedures – Every employer whether a public sector or private, they are all governed by state laws and regulations. The state allows applicants for drug testing but with requirements.
Some enable the test to be the final option in the job application. In such, the candidate examination should be upon receiving an employment offer conditioned on passing the test.
b) Invasion of privacy – As said, some of these tests will require the use of body fluids. The private life of the applicant is the key factor.
For instance, asking an applicant a test for stool or urine in the presence of anybody else is a violation of privacy. The state protects the privacy of the applicant. Any employer who violates such limits will be held liable by the state.
c) Disability discrimination claims – We live with physically challenged people, and they too disserve to get jobs and work. Most of these people mostly survive by medicines.
Americans protect These individuals with Disabilities Act (ADA). Some of the medicines these people take may turn up on drug tests. They also take drugs which are illegal for instance (Opiates). These medicines too may show on drug test. Drug test for such people is illegal.
If they apply for a job, and the tests are run, and they appear to be positive, and that person loses the job, then the company will be held liable.
d) Other discrimination claims – It happens, and it is going on that employers run drug tests to certain people. For example, an employer giving a family member a job fails to run some drug test on him/her. That is entirely illegal.
The only way to single out those to be tested and those not should be by a certain job. For instance, an employer can classify those who are safety-sensitive and test them all not some. Mostly this discrimination occurs in the case of racism.
Marijuana is a drug which we use for medicinal purposes. I know you are wondering if you will fail to get a job because you use marijuana. The answer is simple; you will not be able to get a job as long as the test taking gives positive results.
All state legal procedures apply apart from those with disabilities. The employer has right to fire you or refuse to offer you a job because of the medical marijuana.
Most courts, for example, The California Supreme Court takes the state’s medical marijuana law to be viable only for criminal prosecution, not the place of work