It is vital to understand the importance of pre-employment drug screening, especially if you wish to work for a large company.
Generally, we can differentiate three situations in which you can encounter a drug screening.
- In case you apply for a federally certified job, which requires mandatory screening for all applicants. We are talking about the positions such as Border Patrol and Customs agents as well as military, transportation, and other private sector industries that have federal contracts. You should click here to learn more about federal regulations about mandatory drug testing.
- If you wish, to start working in an unsafe position such as construction or oil rigs, among other things.
- Finally, employers can decide to conduct pre-employment screening for numerous reasons. Some of them wish to make their workplaces 100% drug-free due to various incentive programs that require regular testing.
Generally, when someone is impaired, he/she poses a risk to other employees and potential customers, which is why it is vital to maintain the workplace safety policies with drug-free environments.
Besides, large and prominent companies decide to conduct regular screenings as a form of background check procedure. Sobriety is the indication and essential criteria that will make you both a long-term and successful employee.
Different Types of Drug Screenings
According to federal regulations, most tests can detect commonly used illegal drugs such as weed, cocaine, amphetamine, and opiates. However, if you consume prescription medications, you will also fail the screening, especially since the US is fighting an opioid epidemic.
You should know that the most common drug testing types are urinalysis, oral fluid, and hair screening. Each one comes with specific advantages and disadvantages that you should remember beforehand.
- Urinalysis – The most common option is the urine drug test regulated by federal laws and regulations. The best thing about it is the ability to determine short-term drug abuse. It is not an invasive method, and you need to conduct it in the laboratory by using their equipment such as a container. Remember that you will not bring someone else’s urine or tamper because laboratories know how to detect potential issues and cheating.
- Oral Fluid Drug Test – Mouth swab screening is excellent for detecting short-term drug consumption, making it perfect for determining the current levels of impairment. You should know that it is simple to conduct it. The technicians will reach your office and conduct a mouth swab and place the testing stick within the bag to bring it to a lab. It is challenging to tamper with it, which makes it the perfect solution for random screenings.
- Hair Drug Test – Finally, the hair follicle tests are excellent for detecting long-term drug consumption, but it not sufficient for the short-term. Generally, the collector will take at least a hundred strands from your scalp and place them in foil with an idea to ship it to a lab. Since the technicians will take the specimens directly from your head or other parts of your body, it is impossible to cheat it along the way.
When Should You Expect a Drug Screening?
It would be best if you remembered that each state comes with specific regulations for handling drug screenings. Therefore, a company has to give you a heads up a few weeks before the test to prepare yourself thoroughly.
Generally, you will have to undergo screening as the pre-employment process, which means that you will not get the job if they notice the traces of illegal substances.
Simultaneously, based on the company you worked for, they can conduct random tests depending on the policy you should read.
What Should You Do If You Consume Prescription Drugs?
You should know that most work applicants would have to pass a screening before getting a job offer. If you wish to apply for safety-sensitive jobs, you should know that it would be unwise to consume anything that may affect your physical and mental capabilities.
According to ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) and its Amendments Act, you cannot conduct a screening against prescription drugs because it falls under discrimination law against a particular candidate and the disability.
If someone is consuming legally prescribed medications for a particular condition protected under the ADA, and you decide to reject that particular someone, you may be liable for it.
It will be challenging to prove that you have not based your decision on disability, which will affect your current position. Keep in mind that most screenings are made to detect the presence of illegal substances that do not fall under the ADA.
As a result, you will be able to conduct them as the pre-employment screening, but you should avoid creating problems.
Apart from understanding these aspects, we recommend conducting comprehensive research on state laws in which you wish to employ different people.
Keep in mind that regulations tend to change from state to state, which you can use to your advantage. For instance, some states will require you to extend the job offer before the test, while others will require informing the candidates before conducting any test.
The best thing you can do is ask the candidates to sign a consent beforehand, which will reduce the chances of future court cases and trials.
Since the most common option for screening is a urinalysis, it is a breach of privacy if you require your potential employee to urinate in the presence of someone else. Remember that it falls under the invasion of privacy.
Therefore, if you think that someone will try to tamper with the sample, you should use other options to protect your situation.
We have mentioned above that testing for prescription drugs come with particular regulations that you need to remember. Therefore, if you wish to conduct a pre-employment screening, it is crucial to avoid failing ADA requirements.
As soon as you enter this link: https://www.ada.gov/ you will learn about ADA requirements you need to follow.
However, if you think that a particular employee is abusing prescription pills, you should think about precautions for your actions.
Generally, if drugs do not pose risks for them to perform their jobs safely, it means that you will not be able to reject them in the first place because you will violate ADA regulations.