Should a Pre-Employment Background Check Include Drug Testing?

When companies are looking for candidates to hire for open positions, they routinely conduct background checks. Many employers also conduct pre-employment drug testing. In some cases, drug testing is required by law, but in many cases it is up to the discretion of the employer.

Is Pre-Employment Drug Testing Required?

Most companies across the United States are not legally obligated to drug test applicants for employment. Some state and local governments prohibit or place limitations on pre-employment drug testing.

In some cases, the decision on whether or not to test job applicants for drug use depends on whether or not a union is involved. A non-union employer may test applicants for drug use, but in unionized employment a drug testing program must be negotiated between the company and the union.

In some cases, pre-employment drug testing is required by law. All federal, state, and local civil service jobs require drug testing before an applicant is accepted for a position. Civil service jobs include public school workers, road construction and maintenance workers, law enforcement personnel, and people who work in social services. The Department of Transportation is also required to test all job applicants, and applicants for certain positions may be excluded if they are using certain drugs, even if they have a prescription.

In other industries, pre-employment drug testing is not required, but it is usually done for safety reasons. People who work in the healthcare field and who operate motor vehicles and heavy machinery are routinely drug tested.

Why Many Employers Conduct Drug Testing, Even If It Is Not Required

Even though drug testing is not required in many industries, a majority of employers still do it. They recognize the benefits of having a drug-free workplace and realize that employees who use drugs are more likely to be involved in accidents, to experience or cause injuries, and to have excessive rates of absenteeism and poor on-the-job performance.

DataCheck Can Help with Background Checks and Drug Testing

If your company plans to hire one or more new employees, you have to decide whether or not to test applicants for the use of drugs. Even if it is not required by law, testing job applicants is still a wise decision that can help you have a safe and productive workforce. DataCheck can help with pre-employment background checks, including drug testing. Contact us today to learn more.

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