Drug testing is the norm in many industries, and job seekers have had to adjust to this requirement. Especially in those industries where people are working with heavy machinery or otherwise in control of large objects that might cause mass destruction, it's typical for companies to ensure that the worker isn't under the influence. While not every industry engages in drug testing, enough do that you'll need to know what you're getting into. Here are three drug testing facts that will allow you to go through the job application process with reasonable expectations on what will follow.
You could face multiple types of drug tests
Companies can choose which drug tests to use. Some will go for more invasive blood tests. These tests tend to be more accurate and more expensive than other forms of testing. People who work in fields like public transportation or aviation might be subject to blood testing. Hair testing is more common in pre-employment screening. These tests are popular because they test for a longer periods of drug use. While the remnants of drugs might be out of your bloodstream in a few days, drugs can stay in your hair for weeks on end. Urine testing accomplishes a similar goal as blood testing. It is less invasive and sometimes cheaper. A saliva-based test is more direct and can processed quickly.
You have a right to refuse, but the employer has the right to use that refusal against you
It's true that you don't technically have to take a drug test administered by your employer. Whether you're concerned about privacy, you're scared of needles, or you know you'll test positive, there's no law that you have to comply with the employer's mandate. However, the employer can then use that refusal against you. Most employers who use pre-employment screening will at the very least be very suspicious if you opt out of the drug test. In more extreme cases, the employer may not consider your application or approve your employment until you comply with the drug test.
If you're hurt on the job, a drug test is probably coming
Whenever you're hurt on the job, you may be entitled to damages either in a lawsuit or as a result of worker's compensation law. Your employer may look to avoid liability by showing that you contributed to your own injuries. This is where a drug test may come into play. Some employers will quickly administer a drug test to determine whether you came to work under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you test positive, you may have a difficult time winning whatever claim you might have otherwise had.
Drug testing is the way of the world in the current employment context. You should be prepared to face drug tests at any time. Employers have learned they can limit liability and identify the right employees when they use both pre-employment testing and random testing. As an employee, don't you want to maximize your chances of getting and maintaining gainful employment by understanding the drug testing process?