In many cases, pre-hiring drug testing is legal. But for most private employers, a drug test is not required by law, and employees can refuse the drug test if they wish (though they may be disqualified from being hired). 

On the other hand, some types of jobs do require prospective employees to submit to a drug test. Common examples of such jobs are federal jobs, and jobs that require the operation of a vehicle (such as the trucking and aviation industries).

In most cases, you aren’t required by law to submit to pre-hiring drug testing. However, it is legal for an employer to condition employment on the drug test. That is, it’s usually legal for the employer to deny an applicant work based on their refusal to take a drug test

What if I’m asked to take a Drug Test before I’m hired?

If pre-hiring drug testing is being asked of you, you should be aware of several factors in relation to the drug test.  Any employer who requests a prospective worker to take a drug test must do so in a way that follows state and federal employment laws. It’s common for employers to commit a violation in the drug screening process, often times without the applicant even being aware that their rights were violated. 

If you’re being asked to take a drug test before you’re hired, you should take the following steps:

  • Inform the employer if you’re taking any prescription drugs: Some prescription drugs can show up on a drug test, and can be confused with illegal substances. Be sure to inform the employer of any prescription medications you’re taking.
  • Be aware of discrimination: If you notice certain ages, sexes, races, or genders being singled out for drug testing while others aren’t, it could be considered discrimination.
  • Be aware of state requirements: Some states only allow drug testing if the person has been offered employment first.  Other states require the employers to provide written notice that a drug test is required, or to state so in any job postings.
  • Protect your privacy: If you’re asked to submit to a urine sample in front of other people, or to remove your clothing in front of other people, this could be an invasion of privacy

Thus, drug testing needs to be conducted in a way that conforms to state and federal laws. If you feel that your rights have been violated in the process, it may be possible to file a legal claim against the prospective employer.

Do I need a Lawyer for help issues regarding Pre-Hiring Drug Testing?

Employment laws can vary from state to state. The rules covering pre-hiring drug testing will of course depend on the type of job as well the area you’re located in. If you have any disputes or legal issues at all involving pre-hiring drug tests, you should contact an employment lawyer in your area. Your attorney will be able to discuss your legal rights with you, and can help you file a claim if a lawsuit becomes necessary.