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Pre-employment Drug Screening Maryland

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  • Pre-employment Drug Screening Maryland

    We offered an applicant a position and then sent him for a pre-employment physical and pre-employment drug screening. These are done at two different facilities. We just discovered that he went for the physical as scheduled but did not go to have the drug screening until one week later. If an employee was sent for a random and did not show we would consider that a positive test and terminate. Should I rescind the offer of employment? Is this legal? It seems very suspicious that he did not go for one week.

  • #2
    I would definitely rescind the offer, no doubt. If he knew to go for both and only went to the physical, I would say that's an admission of guilt right there. And yes, that is legal.

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    • #3
      I would first verify that the candidate knew that he was to do both in the same day and that he needed to go to another facility to have it done. If that was clear, then yes, I would recind the offer for failure to follow directions. If they can't follow instructions before they are hired, there is little hope they will suddenly see the light after.
      I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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      • #4
        So Elle, you would be rescinding more on the "not following directions" premise rather than suspicion of drug use?

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        • #5
          Absolutely. You don't know why this person waited a week. It doesn't really matter. Accusing them of drug use when you have no proof is just not a good idea. In the end whether they were trying to let something work itself out of their system or forgot, or were just irresponsible, the results are the same. I'd no more want an employee who was clean but only did what was asked when they felt like it than one who was using. If there was a legitimate problem, they should have alerted you. Do you honestly think you can trust this person to meet other deadlines or keep you advised of any problems in the future? They weren't even hired yet and they aren't doing what you asked.
          I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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          • #6
            I guess that makes sense. Total different angle than I was coming from but less controversial!

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            • #7
              Going the drug use angle just gives them more wiggle room to argue with you. It puts the candidate on the defensive and gives the illusion that there is an out if they can somehow prove that they had a good reason to skip the test or that they were clean at the time. It is much harder to argue that they didn't go when told and didn't bother to inform you of any reason why they could not comply.

              There is also the slim chance that by accusing them of being and addict or drug user you are regarding them as such in violation of ADA. The argument doesn't hold a lot of water as current drug use is not protected, but there is no point in even opening yourself up to that possibility.
              I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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              • #8
                Good take on that Elle. I didn't even see it that way until you mentioned it.

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                • #9
                  I agree - good take, Elle.
                  Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                  Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ElleMD View Post
                    There is also the slim chance that by accusing them of being an addict or drug user you are regarding them as such in violation of ADA. The argument doesn't hold a lot of water as current drug use is not protected, but there is no point in even opening yourself up to that possibility.
                    Current use of illegal drugs is not protected under the ADA. However, many "illegal" drugs are legal when prescribed for a medical condition. And, those warranting medical conditions could be disabilities under the ADA.

                    Unless your instructions specifically tell applicants when both tests must be taken and you have an established practice of rescinding job offers when applicants don't follow instructions, I think rescinding the job offer is risky.

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                    • #11
                      Make sure that your job offer states that it is conditional upon not only passing the required testing (be it physical ability to do the job, skills testing, or drug testing) but upon taking the tests as scheduled. You could make an exception for rescheduling upon prompt notice for an approved reason (just like you would for an employee who needed to be off work).

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by mitousmom View Post

                        Unless your instructions specifically tell applicants when both tests must be taken and you have an established practice of rescinding job offers when applicants don't follow instructions, I think rescinding the job offer is risky.
                        I'm surious what risk you find in recinding an offer based on not following directions? Even if it wasn't clear, legally I don't see any real pitfalls. If using the drug use angle I certainly can see some, but not based on a failure to take care of the test in a timely manner.
                        I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

                        Comment

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