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Albert John

An In Depth Look Into The Federal And State Drug Testing Laws

Most employees and job applicants are going to have to undergo a drug test at least once in their lives. And, this is because employers see drug testing as a way to cut down on job related injuries, absenteeism and a lack in productivity.

This is completely understandable because job related injuries costs are at an all time high. Many employers will require employees to take pre-employment drug tests, so that they can cut down on liability issues. What is the legality of these test procedures?

A Study Of Pre-Employment Drug Testing

It is the right of a private employer to test his or her employees before they are guaranteed employment. There does not need to be any justification for the test. The private employer can simply test on the grounds that they want to promote a drug-free workplace.

Prospective employees do have the right to refuse these tests, but it will usually mean giving up the potential job in the process. Keep in mind that if the company operates as a union the testing programs are usually negotiated and addresses in the union contract.

Another thing that needs to be addressed is that the pre-employment testing laws vary from state to state.

For instance, in some states the employer must have already guaranteed the position to the applicant before they can test them, all applicants applying for the same job must be tested in the same manner and applicants must be notified ahead of time that they are required to test. Many applicants try to cheat the drug test with various detox products, such as: pills, detox drinks and synthetic urine. You can read about more about these on

A Study of Post-Employment Testing

Employees are a little more protected when it comes to post-employment drug testing. However, once again this will vary from state to state. In most cases private employers must justify the drug screening. In order to legally test an employee the employer must justify their actions.

This means that there has to be a legal reason for the test. This will vary from state to state, but in most cases employees will be screened if:

  • The employee’s job poses a significant risk to the public, coworkers, or to him or herself.
  • If employees are currently enrolled in a drug rehab program or have just completed a drug rehab program, they can be tested.
  • If the employee is involved in an on-the-job related injury, they can be tested.
  • If there is a suspicion that the employee is taking drugs they can be tested.

What Are The Rules For Prescription Medications?

It is true that some individuals require daily use of prescription medications like medical marijuana or Xanax. Unfortunately, just because you have a prescription it does not mean that you will be exempt from the test or given special privileges. You will be required to pass a pre-employment drug screening just like everyone else.

You will also have to take post-employment drug tests and could face the negative consequences if you test positive. This is why it is important for full time employees that are taking prescription medications to be prepared for all situations. Products like detox pills and detox drinks can help mask the metabolites in your system and fool those pesky drug tests.

  1. Prescription
  2. State Drug Testing Laws

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