Preemployment Drug Testing

Who doesn't like drugs when the occasion calls for it? Employers, that's who. Because drugs alter the perception of those who take them, drugs tend to be something that employers don't want in the system of their employees. In order to avoid hiring someone who is a hardcore drug user, preemployment drug testing is becoming more popular than ever. And this drug testing also comes in several different varieties, depending on the employer. Those who simply want to check for recent drug use will ask prospective employees to submit to a urine test, while those who want to know if you've ever done drugs might ask for a blood or a hair test. Though there are many safe drug users out there who can still pay their bills and function while high, employers aren't too keen to find out what kind of drug user they've hired - so that's why preemployment drug testing continues.

Should Preemployment Drug Testing Be Required?

If you've ever been in the interview process and you've been asked to submit to preemployment drug testing, chances are good you winced - and that you winced not because you just smoked marijuana on the way in. Many people (even the clean and the sober) don't like it when people question their ability to function as an employee. It feels like a violation of their rights and of their privacy. After all, if they are only doing drugs in their off time, why does it matter? It does matter. Should something happen on the company's time, the company can be held responsible for injuries and accidents - especially when the employee has drugs in their system. These sorts of employee background checks are crucial for weeding out (no pun intended) those who might be doing drugs on a regular basis. And if an employee can't agree to the test, chances are you already have your answer to the result.

But should this drug testing be required? The only person who can answer this question is the employer. After all, they are the ones who will suffer the consequences of not making the right hiring decision. In general, companies who work directly with heavy equipment or who work with people should probably look into preemployment drug testing.

When Someone Fails Preemployment Drug Testing

Of course, at times, you will find that people fail preemployment drug testing. So, should they be banished to druggie purgatory? Not necessary. Employees have a right to ask for a retest as sometimes the testing can be flawed - it does happen. Just ask the prospective employee to go in for a drug test at a later time to recheck their urine or blood for drugs. But if you get the same result the second time, chances are good you can't trust that employee's sobriety. And if the second test is clean, you still might want to keep your eye on that employee. Some of those at home preemployment drug testing kits that mask drugs in the urine do work, after all.