Q & A – Can I require applicants to be drug tested?

Q: Can I require applicants to be drug tested?

A: Yes, absent a state or local law saying otherwise.  Pre-employment drug testing is generally accepted as a hiring criterion for most employers.  Like background screening, drug testing is a risk management tool.  Drug testing can be tailored to certain position having more responsibility and, therefore, more risk or for all employees.  The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has said that pre-employment drug tests are not considered medical exams under the Americans with Disabilities Act.  Therefore, drug testing can be done before an offer of employment has been made if the employer wishes.