Drug testing is a mandatory part of the application process for some jobs, especially those that are safety-sensitive. Employers avoid hiring those under the influence of drugs because it can impair their performance at work and put others’ safety at risk. It’s important to remember that refusing a drug test does not mean the applicant is refusing the job. SAMHSA guidelines require that the results of all tests be reviewed by a medical review officer.
Occupational Health Providers Perform Pre-Employment Drug Tests
While most urgent care clinics can perform pre-employment drug tests, these doctors often need more expertise to interpret the results or help employers develop policies. On the other hand, occupational health providers specialize in workplace drug testing. They can help employers implement drug-testing policies that protect the health and safety of their employees and the company. For example, occupational health clinicians, even online, can perform pre-employment drug tests. They have pre employment drug testing policy template according to federal regulations and recommendations and offer advice on staffing, facilities, and equipment to help them develop a drug-free workplace.
Pre-employment drug testing usually involves a urine test, but other specimens can also be used. Urine tests can detect the presence of traces of drugs even after their effects have worn off. Aside from urine, saliva, blood, and sweat, tests can detect other substances. Although the urine test is the most common, it can also see the presence of other substances, such as nicotine, alcohol, and prescription drugs. Occupational health providers can also conduct oral fluid tests for the same reasons.
SAMHSA Guidelines Require a Medical Review Officer to Review All Tests
The MRO is a licensed medical doctor with substance abuse training. These officers perform several tasks, including reviewing and determining whether the test is valid and whether the results were tainted by the interference caused by prescription medications. Most tests are conducted using breath or urinalysis, but other bodily specimens may also be collected for specific drug detection.
Drug testing is a severe business for employers. Employers must implement compliant drug-free workplace policies to avoid EEOC complaints, ASA violations, and legal liabilities. Private employers are not required to administer drug tests, but many do so to comply with the law. National Drug Screening can provide training and assistance to help employers comply with the law.
The MRO can review all drug tests, ensuring accuracy and quality. They can also provide the results are reported consistently and are included in one database.
Results are Confidential
If an applicant fails a pre-employment drug test, the company has the right to reject and rescind the offer. Moreover, employers may require random drug testing once the employee is hired. This is done if the company suspects that the substance an applicant is using will affect his job performance or safety at work. The applicant could request a retest if the results were incorrect. In such cases, the lab retains a second sample for retesting.
However, employers must still treat drug test results as confidential. These results are considered medical records and should be stored in a personal medical file. Therefore, the employer must document how they share these details with employees. For example, if a test reveals that an employee uses legal prescription drugs, the employer should be extra cautious. Failure to disclose such information could result in disciplinary actions under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Employers must also be prepared for subpoenas.
The federal government has enacted the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, which requires employers to provide drug-free workplaces. Federal contractors and grantees must also adhere to these laws. If you are still determining if the DFW Act applies to your business, check out the Department of Labor’s tool to decide whether or not you need to perform a drug test before hiring someone.
Can I Retake a Pre-Employment Drug Test?
It is up to you to request a retest when you fail the pre-employment drug test. Some employers will allow you to retake a test, while others won’t. It would be better if you always tried to be exam-ready and steer clear of substances that the employer might be looking for because failing a drug test could result in losing your job. You may have to take counseling classes or another test before returning to work.
Pre-employment drug tests are routine in the United States and other western countries. The consequences of failing a test can vary, but in many cases, the company will refuse to hire you. The test results are not public, so you can apply for other jobs afterward. On the other hand, if you test positive after being rejected for a job position, you may face additional consequences like jail time or parole violation.
In some cases, retesting may be possible if there is an error or a missing sample. The testing center or medical review officer will contact you and let you know if you can retake the test. In some cases, a positive test can result in further questioning about prescription medications or herbal remedies.