In the last post, we went over the basics of drug testing during the application procedure. Today we will
Are Drug Tests Legal?
Yes. Drug tests have been held up by the courts as a completely legal way to judge a person’s employment. They are considered minimally invasive and an acceptable way to judge employment. However, there are a few aspects of drug testing that are illegal:
- The employer is not allowed to make you give a urine sample in front of a tester.
- The employer is not allowed to selectively drug test. They must drug test every applicant for a job.
- Some states require that the employer tell applicants they drug test employees before the testing date.
- The applicant must supply the drug test willingly. No one can steal your urine or blood or hair for testing.
- Results may not be supplied to anyone that does not need to know.
Drug tests are a legal way to judge someone’s eligibility for employment, but they cannot simply steal your bodily fluids for testing, or test you because you “look like you do drugs.” There are laws in place to prevent discrimination.
How Do Drug Test Work?
The employer will ask for either a urine or hair sample. Employers may also ask for blood samples, though that is less common these days. Hair testing provides the longest history (as long as 90 days) while urine testing is easier, but is only accurate for about 5 days. There is also breathalyzer testing for alcohol, but that is rarely given to job applicants, and more often is given to current employees that may be inebriated.
The employer sends it to an approved lab. The lab must be approved, otherwise the results may be deemed inadmissible in court.
Not All Drugs Are Tested
Employers only receive results for the drugs they decide to test for. For example, if the employer does not specifically request information on your usage of marijuana, then they will not test the sample for marijuana, or receive any results that indicate you do marijuana. The employer chooses which drugs are tested and receives results about those drugs.
What Happens Next?
Employers will receive the results and make a decision about your employment. If the employer tests for the drug and your test is positive, chances are you will not get the job. Employers will not test for information they do not care about.
In the next post, we will answer a few common questions about employer drug testing for applicants and provide some final thoughts.
Take Away Interview Tips
- Employers are allowed to test for any drugs they want.
- Employers receive the results of only those that show up on the test.
- There are laws governing drug tests that protect your rights.