Before you apply fora specific job that requires you to conduct a drug test,it is essential to learn about your rights as an applicant. Most employers nowadays are requiring applicants to take the test, especially ones that reached the final stages of selection.
The question is why this particular type of drug testing is common nowadays and whether applicants have to agree to take this specific type of test. You should know that most private employers do not have constitutional requirement to test for drug and alcohol use.
The main exception to this rule is for safety-sensitive industries and transportations that are regulated by specific federal agencies such as the Federal Aviation Administration, Federal Highway Administration,and the U.S. Coast Guard.
However, what about medicinal marijuana and THC drug test? For instance, in the trucking and aviation industry, people have a federal obligation to be completely sober and without traces of drugs and alcohol within the system.
Even though it is not mandatorily required by private owners, these are common reasons for testing:
- To Qualify Worker’s Compensation Discount – It is important to remember that many states will offer their employees a discount based on the worker’s compensation insurance premiums, so to comply they have to take specific steps so that they can maintain a drug-free That is one of the reasons for testing job applicants.
- To Avoid Legal Issues – When it comes to the intoxicated employee, if that person harms someone on the job, the employer will be legally responsible for those injuries. Workplace alcohol and drug use can also violate OSHA as well as safety laws from the state.
- To Save Money and Maintain Productivity – According to the federal government, alcohol and drug use take a toll in the workplaces across the USA. Problems that are related to intoxication cost more than $80 billion in lost productivity on an annual basis. Therefore, employees that are using drugs are three times more likely to be late at work and to be involved in workplace accident. They are also five times more likely to file a compensation claim due to it.
Courts and lawyers have recognized that the main issue that happens by conducting drug testing is the violation of privacy rights. These tests are not revealing only current drug intoxication and use, but they also show past drug use, as well as usage of legal drugs after the working hours.
At the same time, test procedure requires from the tester to provide bodily fluids under close supervision, which can also be a breach of privacy. Since drug testing is intrusive, both federal and state laws have placed limitations on when, how and whether it can be done.
In overall, current employees have greater rights than applicants, and since they already have contract and job that they will lose if the test is positive; on the other hand, applicants will only lose the ability to get a job.
That is why some prospective employers cannot force you to take drug test, but they can require you to make it as a condition for employment as long as they follow the rules and regulations.
- Disability Discrimination –If you are an applicant who is taking certain prescription medications for disability, you will be protected from discrimination by ADA. Some prescribedmedications will turn up on the test, and even though they would be considered illegal for recreational use, doctors are prescribing them for severe and specific So if you are an applicant and you get turned down due to positive drug test because you had traces of prescription pills that are legally obtained, the company is risking court action and liability for the rejection. In case that company singles out only one group of applicants by disability or race for drug testing, that is also considered as discrimination claim. If you wish to conduct drug testing has only to single out job classification, you will have to do it to every applicant and not just a specific group.
- Violation Of State Procedures – Even though all states will allow pre-employment drug testing, some of them have created additional requirements and procedures that an employer has to conduct. For instance, some states will allow you to perform a drug test but only if the applicant has received an offer of employment after passing the test. Somestates will require from employer to write a notice and indication that testing is necessary as the part of hiring procedure.
- Invasion of Privacy – In case that test is allowed, applicant privacy can be violated by any means throughout the test. For instance, if applicant has to urinate next to someone else as the mandatory requirement, that is a breach of privacy and company will be liable to it. Check this link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expectation_of_privacy if you wish to learn more on expectation of privacy in the USA.
Finally, yet importantly, more than twenty states all across the USA have allowed residents to use medicinal marijuana for treating various conditions. However, medicinal marijuana laws require from you to have doctor’s authorization to use it for particular disabilities and diseases.
Therefore, if you meet these particular criteria, you will not be able to be prosecuted under state laws for crimes such as possession, use, and cultivation of weed. However, federal regulations do not apply to this particular idea.
In case that you have a valid and legal prescription for cannabis, you are probably wondering whether you can be refused for the job, hire if you test positive on the legally prescribed drug. Have in mind that in most states the answer is problematic because the employer can still forbid you to work under his wings if you test positive on THC.
For instance, the California Supreme Court has ruled that medical marijuana laws apply to criminal prosecution, but not to workplace. At the same time, the Colorado Supreme Court stated that employer could fire an employee for off-duty consumption of medicinal marijuana, even though it is legal in the entire state.
On the other hand, some states have passed specific laws that are prohibiting employers from discriminating against applicant and employee for medicinal use of marijuana,but the employee has to accommodate the workplace and be considered as a disabled person.