How to Navigate Pre-Employment Drug Testing in 2019

Many companies use pre-employment drug testing, but the rules have become a little more complex. Staffing companies interested in completing pre-employment drug testing should consider consulting with a legal professional, first.

What Are the Benefits of Pre-Employment Drug Testing?

Pre-employment drug testing is usually done for positions that are particularly sensitive or potentially dangerous. These drug screenings are usually intended to make sure that an employee is not under the influence when handling heavy equipment or performing physically intensive tasks. Drug screenings can also be used as a general way for an employer to reduce risk within their company. Instances of theft and violence can occur more commonly when drugs are involved.

Still, though there are very good reasons to perform pre-employment drug testing, it can also introduce some challenges. Pre-employment drug testing can be seen as discriminatory if it weeds out candidates who have legitimately prescribed medications, or weeds out people who have used recreationally legal drugs. Businesses need to be exceptionally cautious regarding their pre-employment drug testing policies and need to keep their processes carefully documented.

What About Legitimately Prescribed Medications?

Generally, an employer’s drug testing company will connect with employees to find out whether their medications may have been legitimately prescribed. It’s not up to the employer to decide whether the prescription is accurate, or whether they agree with the prescribed drug. The employer will simply be alerted that there is a prescription for the medication.

Having a prescription doesn’t necessarily mean that an employee will pass a pre-employment drug screening. For example, an employee who is on a medication that could make them sleepy may not be a candidate for a truck driving job, even though they may have a valid prescription. It’s up to the employer to decide whether they believe the employee can complete the job within reasonable parameters.

What About Marijuana?

Medical marijuana has become legal in many states, but it’s still illegal federally. Recreational marijuana has further muddied the waters, especially because marijuana can stay in an individual’s system for months after its last use. In at least one state (Nevada), it will become illegal to discriminate against potential employees for their marijuana use. It’s already illegal in NYC. Before engaging in pre-employment testing for marijuana, it’s important to connect with a professional.

What happens if you encounter liability or legal issues related to pre-employment drug testing? Pre-employment drug testing could be extremely important to your industry, but there are still legal problems that you could encounter. Staffing insurance can help. Staffing insurance protects you from employment-related issues, such as discrimination cases. Contact World Wide Specialty Programs for a quote.

About World Wide Specialty Programs

For the last 50 years, World Wide Specialty Programs has dedicated itself to providing the optimal products and solutions for the staffing industry. As the only insurance firm to be an ASA commercial liability partner, we are committed to that partnership and committed to using our knowledge of the industry to provide staffing firms with the best possible coverage. For more information about Staffing Professional Liability Insurance or any other coverage, we have available to protect your staffing business, give us a call at (800) 245-9653 to speak with one of our representatives.