Tag Archives: Employment

Most employees and applicants will be required to take a drug test at least once during their careers. From the employer’s perspective, (illegal) drug use results in a higher level of absenteeism and decreased productivity, among other adverse factors. Additionally, many employers implement drug screening procedures before hiring (and sometimes after hiring) to protect themselves from liability for their workers’ actions. And while many workers believe that drug testing violates their right to privacy, employers often have the protection of the law, as long as they comply with state and federal regulations and apply the policy equally. This article deals with the legality of drug testing, both before and after hiring.


Drug Testing Before Hiring

With a few exceptions, private employers may require new hires to take a drug test for the first time as a condition of employment. Applicants have the right to refuse the test, but such refusal usually implies the job offer’s rejection. Unlike on-the-job drug testing, it does not need to be justified by safety considerations or other employment-related concerns beyond the desire to achieve a drug-free work environment when it is done before hiring.

Union members may not be required to submit to a narcotics test before hiring (or after) unless such testing programs are specifically negotiated and addressed in union contracts. While the U.S. Constitution does not protect private-sector employees from what could be considered privacy invasion, some states have laws that limit employers’ rights to test employees (or applicants) drug detection.


Drug Testing During Employment

Many states have laws limiting the conditions under which an employer can require employees to take a drug test. Typically, employers must justify testing employees with business or safety needs or respond to suspected use of drugs such as opioids, hallucinogens, or pain relievers.

In general, while they differ by state, testing employees for illegal drug use is permitted under the following circumstances:

  • The employer’s job poses a significant danger to the safety of yourself or others.
  • The employee is enrolled in a drug rehab program or has just been discharged from such a program.
  • The employee was involved in a workplace incident in which drug use is suspected.
  • Management has a reasonable suspicion that a particular employee has been using illegal drugs based on behavior or physical evidence.

State and federal regulations require employees in certain professions to be tested for drugs, including airline pilots and those who operate heavy machinery. If you’re unsure about the drug testing requirements for your job, contact the appropriate professional organization.

Invasion of privacy

Attempts to avoid drug testing because it violates employee privacy have been unsuccessful. That’s because the tests themselves do generally not violate an individual’s rights, although sometimes the way the test is performed (or the use of the results) may constitute a violation.

For example, the U.S. Supreme Court held that positive drug test results could not be used in subsequent criminal cases without the employee’s consent. Also, a drug test can be challenged on constitutional grounds if the results are indiscriminately disclosed, if the test is performed in a way that violates the person’s right to privacy, or if the test is performed excessively or improperly.


Medical Marijuana

At least 33 states have enacted laws that allow medical marijuana use by patients with health problems. Still, employees in those states are not required to provide reasonable accommodation to people who use medical marijuana. In other words, employers are free to ignore a legitimate state-issued medical marijuana certificate. One of the legal reasons behind this situation is that employers could be liable for any work-related injury caused by an employee whose marijuana test was positive, whether or not it is for medicinal use.


State Laws About Drug Testing

Most states have laws that address the implementation of workplace drug tests, either by limiting the circumstances under which the tests can be done or by providing incentives to employers to implement such tests.

The following is a brief sample of state policies on drug testing:

  • California: Employers who obtain state contracts or grants must certify that they will provide a drug-free work environment (similar to the federal requirement); Contractors must also provide a written policy to their employees.
  • Florida: State law gives priority to contractors who have implemented a procedure for a drug-free work environment, receiving a discount on your premiums for workers’ compensation.
  • Illinois: There is no legislation regarding drug testing.
  • New York: Does not have legislation regarding drug testing; state courts have supported the random implementation of drug and alcohol testing of city bus drivers, police officers, and correctional officers.
  • Texas: Businesses with more than 15 employees (and coverage for workers’ compensation) should adopt the workplace drug reduction policy of their choice.


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Employee background checks are conducted to check whether certain information about potential candidates is accurate. This helps make sure that those individuals do not pose any risk to enterprises and therefore fit into the work environment.

Some of the information included in an employee background check are an individual’s identity, educational background, professional experience, criminal record, and any other checks relevant to the position applied. Some factors can make you fail an employment background check. These include:

1) Exaggerating Your Academic and Professional Background

The first thing that should be done if a candidate must undergo a background check is to update their resume, ensuring that all the information entered is reliable. Nowadays, many applicants deliberately improve their CV details, such as their job titles and experience to increase their chance of being recruited. However, through an employee background check, such misleading acts can easily be identified. Deceptive elements regarding your academic and professional background can be viewed as a factor that disqualifies you for the position.

Instead, it is advised to be very precise when communicating about details like job titles, degrees, work experience, etc. For instance, it is wise to check if your profile on LinkedIn or social network profiles do not contain false information concerning your career. Employers usually visit such platforms to confirm whether your profile corresponds to your curriculum vitae. Even altering the dates of employment can be a significant mistake, ruining your image, and cause your application to lose value.

2) Unreliable References

During a background check, most employers ask for references to confirm some information about your career or any other relevant data. However, many candidates fake their references, thinking that employers won’t look into it. Others do not ensure that the references provided agree to be contacted by a potential employer. Such situations may create doubts and therefore increase the possibility of being disqualified. To make sure that everything goes well, use reliable sources.

3) Being Dishonest About Your Criminal Past

If you hide things about crimes committed in the past, you may be viewed as a dishonest person and decrease your chance of being recruited. To avoid this issue, it is better to be frank and explain the circumstances of those past offenses to your recruiter. However, it is essential to inquire about the details that you should reveal first. For instance, in some countries, you have to disclose information regarding the misdeeds you have been convicted of only.

In any case and for any background verification, the person concerned must sign a consent that clearly explains the different checks that will be performed and mentions who will have access to the documentation. To illustrate, a verification company or recruiter should not ask questions concerning the private life of candidates. These include information such as your religious beliefs, your family situation, political views, etc. In situations where such data is revealed, the employer will not be allowed to use it in the decision-making process.

To conclude, a candidate should be well prepared for a background check if he/she wants to maximize their chances of being recruited. This will also help in preventing any displeasing situations to both the candidate and potential employer. Being truthful will guide you and can even make you the ideal employee for the position concerned.

If you’re looking for effective and reliable background screening services, Brevard Background Check provides a range of background checks solutions for franchisors, businesses, and more. They can help you obtain all the necessary information about your future employees. Contact them for more details.

Hiring a candidate is not just reviewing applications and conducting interviews. It involves several steps, such as discussing with the manager to find out everything they expect from a candidate, publishing the job description, sifting through the applications, conducting phone screenings, picking out qualified candidates and setting up in-person interviews.

While the interviews do help the employer find out a lot about the prospective employee, there is some information that the candidates may choose not to disclose. And this is where a background check helps. Below are all the reasons why your business needs to run a pre-employment background check:

1. It’s an easy way of making sure you are hiring the right candidate.

As all recruiters know, finding candidates takes a lot of time. From sourcing to reviewing applications and interviewing the candidates, the screening process can take a lot of time. Since this process is already quite time consuming, you should ensure you hire the right person the first time itself. This is the best way to avoid impacting the productivity of the company.

2. It flags past transgressions that might impact the performance of the employee.

Some background checks can help unearth some issues that may be relevant to the specific job for which you are hiring. For example, if you are looking for a driver, you wouldn’t want to hire a candidate with numerous license suspensions. If you are not hiring a driver, on the other hand, this will hold no bearing on the applicant’s ability to perform the job at hand.

 3. It helps recruiters perform due diligence and decreases liability for the business.

Let’s use the same example as above to illustrate this point. If you do not ask for a background check, you are more likely to hire the applicant who has gotten several DUIs. If the driver gets into an accident, you risk being held liable for the accident because you didn’t run a background check to make sure this person was a fit candidate.

4. It gives you a deeper insight into the potential fit.

Almost no job applicant will volunteer what could be considered damaging information in an interview. They will put on a performance and try their utmost to appear professional and friendly to charm their interviewer. They can even go as far as excluding previous jobs from their resume. Running a background check can help you cut through the façade and find out whether the individual was really upfront about their past.

5. It helps the employer keep their employees and customers safe.

There are probably two types of candidates no employer would want to hire: violent criminals and sex offenders. Just like the point mentioned above, you could be held liable for hiring a sexual predator if that individual assaults or harms someone from your team or one of your customers. So, to keep your employees and customers safe, it would be better to run a background check on all the candidates you are considering for a position.

 6. It helps you keep your company drug-free.

Not only do many employees seek a drug-free workplace, but several customers put a lot of stock in buying from drug-free environments. A background check can help you root out candidates who have been slapped with drug charges in the recent past. Some companies even choose to supplement the pre-employment background check with a drug test to establish a zero-tolerance anti-drug policy at work from the very beginning.

7. It flags dishonesty.

Every applicant who comes to an interview, intend to do everything they can to impress the employer. Some even lie on their resume: they can exclude work histories, makeup others or embellish job responsibilities. The best way to highlight these problems is to give a call to their former employees.

8. It verifies education and certifications.

In addition to verifying their employment history, a background check can also help you make sure that the applicants you are considering have the degrees and professional certifications they listed in their resume. While some jobs may not require the candidates to have specific qualifications, others do. Regardless, the background check will help you establish whether the candidate was honest or whether they are qualified.

9. It gives the business owner and the managers peace of mind.

To avoid having to worry about whether you can trust your employee, a background check can help you dodge those worries. It helps ensure that you did not hire a criminal, a fraud or a thief.

10. It highlights criminal history.

While some companies may hire someone if the criminal charges are minor or out of date, other companies may refuse to do so. In fact, certain companies outsource their business to other companies and their requirements include not hiring anyone who has a criminal history. Running a background check can help flag any criminal convictions in the candidate’s past.

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