Pre-employment drug tests...

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by DagoMaino, Feb 12, 2014.

  1. DagoMaino


    Feb 1, 2013
    How does the logic follow in these times for pre-employment drug tests? Obviously there are legal places that one can participate in this kind of activity, and so, should employment drug screening take that into consideration? Even the concept is kind off strange to me because psychoactive affects are not pertinent to the drug being in your system so shouldn't the drug screening be concerned with continued use after you are hired. ie. drug test 30 days after hire date. Or initial test at hiring but follow up test to be sure there is not continued use according to company policy.... for that matter have the employee pay for the second test if needed as a condition for employment.

    I guess that it seems weird that they can/should be concerned with something legal that you may be doing before you are under the jurisdiction of company policy. Is this a sort of character judgment for doing something legal...

    Fact: alcohol withdrawals can be much more disruptive than MJ withdrawals (there is not even peer reviewed, consistent, evidence of physical withdrawals for weed). Alcohol abuse and dependencies aren't even asked about in pre-employment screenings let a lone tested for. I only bring up the comparison because it is also a legal activity that appears to lack the same stigma even though the reality is worse.

    Curious as to how you guys see it.
  2. BawanaRik


    Mar 6, 2012
    New Jersey
    Freedom of association is a most basic human right.

    If you don't feel comfortable associating with the kind of employer that would test then don't.
  3. Frank Tuesday

    Frank Tuesday

    Jul 11, 2008
    Austin, TX
    Assuming we're talking about the USA, not really. It is still a Federal offense, even in Washington and Colorado. All the state laws have done is not made it a state offense. The federal government has no interest in pursuing individual users, so the risk of getting arrested is close to zero, but it is still illegal by Federal law.
  4. SunnBass

    SunnBass All these blankets saved my life.

    Aug 31, 2010
    Columbia, Mo
    The main problem with drug testing is that it really can only identify drugs that stay in your system long after use.
    Fact: one could go on a multi-day cocaine bender, lay off for a day or two before their test, and come up clean. Assuming of course it is a urine based test, which 98% of them are.
  5. DagoMaino


    Feb 1, 2013
    Even so, does a trip receipt to Amsterdam, Portugal, or Uruguay account for that. I am asking because it was a discussion in a psych class that begs to question that, as more places move to decriminalization, there will need to be some accounting for the scenario.
  6. phatcyclist


    Jan 29, 2014
    Austin, TX
    Life is full of choices. If you choose to smoke pot, etc. in Amsterdam and come back home immediately and get drug tested for a new job, that's a choice you've made and ultimately have to deal with. As long as they are not trying to prosecute you if you fail the test, really you're just not going to get the job. It's their choice to have drug-free employees. There are many professions where they don't want you to consume alcohol, at all. And alcohol is completely legal here assuming you're 21 or older.
  7. Unrepresented

    Unrepresented Something Borderline Offensive

    Jul 1, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    Laws should be enacted that prevent employers from requesting samples for employment in anything but industries where sobriety is an absolute necessity for public safety.
  8. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    It could be something that an attorney decides to test in court (and my guess is that someone will eventually test it). With that said, an activity being legal doesn't mean that it is off limits as a criterion for an employment decision. It's not illegal to have bad credit, but it is legal for an employer to discriminate against those with bad credit when making a selection decision.
  9. -Kramer-


    Dec 9, 2003
    Charlotte, NC
    My cousin admitted to smoking pot in Amersterdam during an interview for a 911 call center. She was eventually turned down for the job for that reason even though she was able to pass the drug test.
  10. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    When federal drug testing guidelines were being formulated, alcohol was included like any other drug, but the alcohol lobby in DC mobilized their forces and pulled out all the stops, favors, etc., to get alcohol removed from the equation. As you pointed out, all this effort paid off and alcohol was removed from any pre employment testing regulations. It is still in the law but only for professional drivers and only if they show up for work obviously intoxicated. They are tested on the spot and if found to be impaired they are sent home for 24 hours and retested. If they are clean on the second test, no harm no foul, and if they show up sober for the next 30 days the whole thing is (officially) forgotten. If they show up impaired in less than 30 days they are offered the choice of rehab or termination.

    Other drugs, including prescription drugs not reported prior to testing, will result in denial of employment or termination of same if caught on a (mandatory) random test. Additionally, in Alabama and several other states, if you go for treatment on a workman's comp claim you are automatically drug tested as part of the visit, and denied WC coverage, and subject to termination if you test positive, for anything but alcohol.

    You can be buzzed on the job and walk, but smoke a little MJ last night and get injured today and you are handed not just your walking papers, but also an unofficial denial of employment based on it being to expensive to insure someone with a WC carrier if said individual has a verifiable history of drug use.
  11. DagoMaino


    Feb 1, 2013
    Even so if your credit was immediately/completely repaired as of your actual employment, do you feel that it still needs to be a consideration?

    Someone could argue that having any sort of distress could lead to performance issues... A major cause for missing work is relationship distress or divorce... would it be right for an employer to look into your relationship history?

    I am actually quite on the side that an employer can do whatever they want to qualify the people they hire so my questions is more about establishing the normative perspective than accounting for extremes.

    It just seems interesting to me that, if the intent is to have a sober workforce, that the method is to test for activities prior to the rules applying. It seems a bit of an assumption to say that someone that chooses to do this when there are no applicable rules, will continue to do this after there are rules in place. It appears to be a character judgment more about following rules than the activity... there may be some correlation, but they are not causal. One of the biggest reason that people don't partake is because of employment, so there is actually very good evidence that people acknowledge and follow the rules when they apply.
  12. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    If you don't qualify to work for someone based on their drug policies, don't apply.

    If you have a medical or other condition that would result in a positive test, tell them before the test.

    If you're about to apply for a job, THINK FIRST.

    Problem solved.
  13. Don't like it? Apply elsewhere.
  14. Unrepresented

    Unrepresented Something Borderline Offensive

    Jul 1, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    Being employed shouldn't require relinquishing your privacy.
    Groovy_Gravy likes this.
  15. buzzbass

    buzzbass Shoo Shoo Retarded Flu ! Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2003
    Don't worry about it and don't care to. I'll bake when I like(not @ work). If the employer doesn't like it F-them. I have an extremely "in-demand" skillset that most folks don't have in IT. I'm not worried at all. My free time is just that, MINE !
    Groovy_Gravy likes this.
  16. wild4oldcars


    Jan 22, 2012
    Garner, NC
    What kinda employer in the right mind wants some Spicolis running around on their team? Its the employer's right to select the best employees from all applicants. Just because something is legal (not really) doesn't make it desirable to employers. Thats like hiring some twiggy teenage girls for jobs requiring heavy lifting, just because they applied. They aren't forbidden to apply, or even do the job, but there are obviously more qualified and more desirable employees.
  17. Unrepresented

    Unrepresented Something Borderline Offensive

    Jul 1, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    There is no way that Spicoli is going to pass an interview, regardless of whether or not he passes a drug test. The idea isn't to force employers to hire unfit employees or retain unfit employees but rather to limit the infringement of privacy they are allowed in the hiring process.
  18. tastybasslines

    tastybasslines Banned

    May 9, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    This sounds absolutely ridiculous to me. You no longer have "privacy" when it comes to being in a working relationship where consideration is being provided to both sides.

    Why should it stop at public safety? I work in a law office, where attention to detail is essential. Are you saying that as an employer, I have no right to ensure that my employees have all their faculties where precision is required of them each and every single day?
  19. Then become the employer that doesn't require relinquishing privacy.
  20. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    Actually, I am quite critical of credit scores being considered in employment decisions in which the candidate is not in a fiduciary position. Demonstrate criterion validity to me (i.e., show me that there is a predictive relationship between credit scores and job performance) and I'll be more sympathetic as it being a part of a selection protocol. I was just raising the credit criterion as an example to my point.

    However, you are conflating two issues: The legality of a selection protocol and the validity of a selection protocol. A selection protocol can completely lack face, construct, criterion, and content validity and still be legal. It's bad selection, but it is legal. Legality of a selection method and the validity of a selection method generally only intersect in discrimination cases dealing with disparate impact in which the employer has the burden to prove that an employment assessment has validity and does not disenfranchise a group of people who are otherwise fit for the job (see Griggs v. Duke Power, 1971).