General Question

surferdude012917's avatar

Can pre-employment drug screen still happen even with no notification/consent/policy of it?

Asked by surferdude012917 (6points) November 25th, 2018

I’m in the US. I have signed all the new hire paperwork including completing the background check. Nowhere in this process has a pre-employment drug screen been mentioned even at the time of the verbal offer. I start on December 3rd. What’s the likelihood a pre-employment drug screen can happen in less than a week?

*Offer letter did state two conditions of employment were contingent on me proving I can work in the US and passing a background checks.

*I have never been drug tested for a job before and my only concern is weed may still be slightly detectable. It will be nearly 3 weeks from the last time i smoked to my actual start date.

*The job does not require me to operate heavy machinery or any of that sort. It’s an office/desk job.

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20 Answers

MrGrimm888's avatar

It can. But. It’s more likely that they would test you either after first hire, or after some sort of accident/injury.

Most applications have a statement about drug tests. It’s typically worded so that they can test an employee at any time.

surferdude012917's avatar

@MrGrimm888 It definitely wasn’t mentioned on the application when I first applied. :x

MrGrimm888's avatar

Hmm. It’s on every one I have ever filled out…

If it’s been 3 weeks, drink lots of water. Don’t smoke again.

seawulf575's avatar

I work in a business that does not only pre-employment drug screening, but random testing as well. I will tell you that if they were going to ask for a pre-employment drug test, they typically would have informed you up front, whether on an application or during an interview. They would likely have scheduled a time and place for you to do the testing. Not 100%, certainly, since we are dealing with the government, but likely. The upside of your situation is that if you are a very casual user (not all the time), you are right at the outer limit of being able to detect it in your urine. But as @MrGrimm888 said, don’t smoke again.

surferdude012917's avatar

@seawulf575 I’ve been told a similar thing from friends who’ve had multiple drug tests for jobs in their lives regarding it would come in prior to the job offer..and if not, it would be provided within the new hire paperwork at the latest if there was.

I’m officially one week out and I have not heard/received anything regarding one. Within the “welcome to our company” email”, the HR mentioned I would have to get all the paperwork completed within 3 days of my start date and process the background check ASAP. All of which I’ve completed.

Btw. This is not for a government position. It’s a receptionist/administrative job.

surferdude012917's avatar

@MrGrimm888 , I’ve worked for some huge corporations and none of which ever drug tested me. I’ve never had the experience of being drug tested. However regarding it being mentioned, my last two jobs only had policies of not being on drugs/drunk in the workplace. This company has a similar policy in their handbook that they don’t interfere with the private lives of their employees, but that suspicion of use AT work or an accident/injury could be cause for one. That’s about it.

seawulf575's avatar

@surferdude012917 Sorry, somewhere I got the idea it was for the government. As I said, typically somewhere along the hiring line you should be notified of drug testing. I have interviewed people for positions with this company. It is standard for us to notify the applicant during the job description, the interview, and the in the offer letter that drug testing will be done and is a requirement for the position. It makes sense for a company to do this, if that is their policy. They don’t want to go through the cost of interviewing and selection of candidates, possibly relocating them, setting up all the stuff for them to be employees and then spring it on them that they will be drug tested and that could define their employment. It is better to get it out in the open, up front, rather than waste time and money on someone that would not accept if they knew there was drug testing they would fail.

surferdude012917's avatar

@seawulf575 ah yes and that is also another thing my friend said. That it would be a huge waste of time and resources for any company to spring it on a new hire just a few days before their start date. Of course, I am to wait until at least I’m past my orientation. But, I wanted to hear from others who’ve had the experience regarding it just being like a “oh btw, can you go do a drug screen” like 3–5 days before I actually start. I wondered what the likelihood of that even happening was.

zenvelo's avatar

Is weed legal where you live? In jobsthat do not involve machinery or driving, marijuana use has been challenged as disqualifying because of the half life in one’s system would mean use on a weekend would test positive.

Drug tests are illegal where I live unless a demonstrated safety concern.

surferdude012917's avatar

@zenvelo unfortunately no. The state I was living in prior it was.

I wanted to mention this is what it states in the employee handbook, @seawulf575 @MrGrimm888 :

The employee handbook says they do not interfere with private lives of their employees. The only mention of actual drug testing says: “when X has reasonable suspicion that an associate is using or has used drugs or alcohol in violation of the drug free workplace policy. This is based off physical symptoms after a work related accident which impairment may be a factor.”

Conditions of employment in my offer letter only advised proof I can work in US and passing the background check. Ultimately it just advises don’t bring it to work and don’t come to work with it in your system.

LadyMarissa's avatar

At my last job, they hired you. Then when you walked in for your first day of work, you were handed a cup & told to provide a sample immediately. That was it unless there was a workplace accident & once again you’d be handed a cup & expected to provide a sample immediately. This test was ONLY for drugs & alcohol wasn’t included mainly because ALL the executives were raging alcoholics who kept a bottle in their desk drawer. I know that my immediate supervisor added a shot to his coffee every morning & he usually had a minimum of 4 cups of coffee before noon!!!

JLeslie's avatar

It doesn’t sound likely they do drug testing, so you’re probably safe.

Did the company in any way say that they test for drugs or expect employees to be drug free?

Lay off the weed.

surferdude012917's avatar

@JLeslie it just says drug free workplace. When it goes further into the policy of that, it just outlines they don’t interfere with the private lives of their employees, but that they don’t want to see drugs brought into work nor see their employees drunk/on drugs at work.

JLeslie's avatar

^^Drug free workplace” means to me they probably can ask for a drug test at any time. Their insurance fees and coverage probably relies on their employees being drug free. Are you in an “at will” state? If so, I’d be really careful not to break any rules.

LuckyGuy's avatar

A random drug test policy is required for contractors working on certain government projects. The urine test is readily available and only costs $1 so the financial burden is small for the contracting company.

A group of friends and I tested the test kits and found they were absolutely correct if you smoked, or didn’t smoke, within 5 days of testing. After a week the results became ambiguous requiring a follow-up test.

If X is working on a defense contract you should definitely stay clean!

surferdude012917's avatar

@LuckyGuy I’m not sure where I implied it was for government, but I can assure you…no. This is NOT for a government job in any way. It’s a small company for a receptionist/administrative position. Again, I’m not a “contractor” nor is it for a government job. It’s a full time position. Not goverment in any way shape or form.

In my previous response, when I outlined exactly what my employee handbook said and had said “X”... I was referring to the company name. So, to re-affirm my original message. You can replace “X” with [insert company name] if that is more clear. Lol

LuckyGuy's avatar

@surferdude012917 I figured X meant company name. I was answering from experience. For example, if a private (not government) company ever wanted to do some work for the government they would be required to have that kind of policy. They might not have a contract now but they might be looking to get one in the future. It could be a manufacturing company, engineering company, trucking, logistics,... whatever.
If they did have a contract they would need to show they had the policy on the books when the inevitable auditor pays them a visit.

surferdude012917's avatar

@LuckyGuy it’s neither of that type of company haha. :) it’s too small of a company to work for the government in any aspect. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

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LadyMarissa's avatar

@surferdude012917 You might be surprised the small companies that do work for the government. During my time in the DC area, I worked for a company with only 4 employees & we had a contract with the government for about 5 years. At that point, the owner sold the business & I found a better job. Don’t know IF the new owner managed to continue with the contract or not.

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