Health

Can an Employer Drug Test You Without Telling You?

Drug testing exists as such in many working environments, but rare are those where it is mandatory. Depending on the field of work, you might need to require to undergo regular tests in this department. For example, if you work with nuclear waste, or are close to the military, drug tests are a frequent occurrence.  In most other branches there are no strict rules or, in fact, laws regulating this type of test. It all comes down to the state in which you are employed as not all of them abide by the same rules. Some states have some sort of regulations, but even there it is up to the employer if they want to conduct regular drug tests as a part of the contract they offer.

Many employers want to have this in their workplace, as they see it as a means to increase safety and avoid injuries caused by intoxication. These companies often give their employees a written statement that intends to warn them about the consequences of their actions. But, even with this, they’re only allowed to test their people if it’s going hand to hand with the local laws. While tests during employment are one type of animal, most employers are allowed to test the candidates before they get the job. But, even in this case, they need to inform the candidates that such a test will be conducted. Below we’re going to answer the question from the title, can an employer drug test you without telling you?

Testing Candidates

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In most cases, the answer to the question of whether applicants can be tested is yes. There are state laws and regulations regarding this matter, and the employer needs to abide. Some procedures need to be put in place so that the entire process remains legal. While the regulations differ from state to state many things are similar. Some of the rules that mostly apply to all places include the fact that candidates need to be notified of the test; if the job is already offered, and all that is left is a drug test; if all candidates of the given workplace undergo the same treatment; and eventually people who conduct tests need to be professionals hired by the state. These days it is the norm for employers to announce to their candidates in the applications that they need to give consent to that type of test. This might not sound fair, but that’s how things stand. There are two choices for you in this situation. Either you undergo the test, or you recall your application for the opening.

When Can You be Tested After Employment?

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Now you know that the employer has the right, or at least it can offer you the chance to know, that there might be a drug test before your hiring. As we know, these things are not the same in all the states, and depending on where you apply for the job, the rules might be different. For example, you can get a premium on your insurance if you undergo a drug test at your workplace in the states of Florida and Alabama. This is a nice touch, and the employer ensures that workers remain satisfied despite this nuance. Things are a bit different in Illinois, and if you’re from there you might want to check out Health Street in order to learn how things function in the state of Chicago Bulls.

Many states have a drug-free program in their companies, which gives them an upper hand in drug-related situations. For one, they’re entitled to test any worker who missed the time away on rehabilitation after using drugs. Sounds logical, and seems fair, doesn’t it? Furthermore, you may undergo a random test after you’ve been involved in a work-related accident. This is another logical move because if the accident was a peculiar one, there’s a reasonable doubt that there’s a reason why it happened. Those employees who voluntarily ask for treatment after substance abuse are exempt from this, but that’s another logical approach as they’re already admitting the fault. But, of course, they can be tested upon return and frequently in the months following their absence.

If you’re looking for a state with stricter rules regarding drug tests on the worksite, you should move to Connecticut. Over there, employers are not allowed to conduct a random drug tests. No, instead they’re entitled to have one only after there’s been a work-related accident, or there’s a reasonable suspicion involving one or more workers who are suspects as drug abusers. Of course, it is hard to determine the reasonable suspicion, but it can easily be put forward if there’s a risk of injury or job failure. All of us know how someone who is a user looks, so it’s not hard to be reasonable about it. Furthermore, other employees can report the suspicious behavior of one of their colleagues.

Can a Drug test be Refused?

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Of course, this is a free country after all. But, you need to know that there are consequences to actions like these. If you refuse to take this test, it will raise suspicion. For most employers, you are as good as fired, and they’ll believe that you were using drugs without a fault. The only good part of this is that there will be no written record of you being recorded as a drug user. In states with stricter rules, such as Colorado, you can be stripped of your unemployment benefits if you get fired for drug abuse. The case is even harder if your employer had a policy that strictly forbade drug use. Either way, all work-related situations regarding drug use tend to be well regulated. No one wants to risk too much in situations like this. After all, using drugs is never a smart choice as it can ruin both your career and your life. Just look at what have drugs did to a number of fine people such as James Gandolfini, or the fictional character from The Sopranos Christopher Moltisanti.

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