The Drug Test and Background Checks: What Employers Can and Cannot Do


If you are applying for a job in 2013, chances are good you will be facing background checks, drug tests, and other screening requirements from prospective employers. Why does this seem like you have to jump through hoops to find an opportunity in today’s challenging employment market? The answer is simple. Risk. Employers need to know who they are bringing in because if they fail to provide a safe work environment for their employees, they could be held liable. Nevertheless, you have rights.

What They Want to Know

Employers are using drug tests and background checks to learn about potential risks in the employees they plan to hire. Keeping this in mind, consider some of the tests that they are doing and your rights in them.

Drug Screenings: Employers can request these both prior to bringing you on the job and randomly as long as you are informed of this and state laws allow it. Drug screenings, though, cannot be failed by those who have medical disabilities in which they are prescribed medications that may show up on such tests.

Criminal Background Checks: Most employers conduct these. Most states require individuals to provide written permission from the employee to gather these types of background checks. Additionally, some states require that these checks are only allowable if the individual has been given the promise of a job.

Education Screenings: In some cases, employers want to ensure you have the education you state you do. However, most educational information is protected under law from being released. You will likely need to sign a waiver providing permission and even then, they may not provide all information including transcript information.

Credit Screenings: Another type of employment screening many employers require is a credit screening. In order for employers to access this information, though, they may show that it is valuable for them to know that this information is valuable to your ability to do the job. Employment screenings of credit do not provide all information, though.

Should you worry about the drug test, background checks, and other employment screening that your company wants you to have? You should now your state’s laws and, if you feel you were discriminated against in any way, contact the department of labor of your state to report it. If you do not want to provide such information, and the state allows the employer to do so, you may find that you are out of a job. Being upfront about any risks on these tests can help you to avoid problems later.


Source by Todd B Bavol

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