employers require job candidates to take drug tests as part of the application process.
How commonplace is this practice and can you, as an employee, refuse the
drug test? By law, most employers do not have to require drug testing.
There are certain industries, however, that will require drug testing,
such the trucking companies and most federal and government jobs.
Why Do Employers Request Drug Tests?
An employer may have a variety of reasons for administering drug tests.
Some have a strict, drug-free workplace policy. Needless to say, being
under the influence of drugs violates OSHA as well as many state safety
occupational laws, and may also be illegal.
Here are some of the main reasons employers require drug tests:
- Allows employees workers’ compensation discounts, particularly if
employees remain drug-free
- Prevents employers from being held legally liable for accidents on the
job. An employer can be held responsible for employees who cause harm
to others or become injured due to being under the influence.
- Studies show that drug-free work environments are much more productive,
and can save money in the long run.
How do you know, however, when an employer is overstepping the boundaries
in forcing an employee or an applicant to take a drug test? There are
some schools of thought that debate on whether or not drug testing is
a violation of privacy rights. This is because a drug test does not only
check what is currently in the person’s blood system, but also any
trace amounts in the immediate past.
It is for this reason that many state and federal laws limit how employers
can conduct the tests, in what context, and the frequency. This means
that an employer cannot legally require drug tests from applicants, although
you should note that this may be a prerequisite for the job position.
Contact Marder Employment Law!
Our Hollister employment law attorney can assist you if you believe your
rights were violated at any time, either as an employee or a prospective
candidate. Bill Marder is a seasoned lawyer with more than 20 years of
Call the firm today at (888) 796-4010 to
schedule a consultation.