What is Included in a Blood Drug Test for Employment?
A blood drug test, which measures alcohol or drugs in the blood at the time the blood is drawn, may be used when job applicants or employees are screened for illegal drugs. Blood tests are not used as frequently as urine drug tests, because, unlike urinalysis, a blood test does not measure drug residues that remain in the body after the effects of the drug have worn off.
Drugs that are screened for in a typical blood test for employment purposes include amphetamines, cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamines, opiates, nicotine, and alcohol.
Most current employees can be tested since state laws are generally similar to federal statutes. Employers must follow state guidelines for testing. Testing might be restricted to candidates who have already been offered a job.
Typically all candidates need to be treated equally, and no inpidual can be singled out for testing. Advance notice must be provided to candidates and employers are required to furnish information about their testing process. The employer should have a mechanism for appealing failed tests in place.
Many states, including California, require employers to verify a cause for testing currently employed workers for substances. Employers in those states must have a reasonable suspicion that the employee in question is abusing drugs and that safety or performance has been compromised.
Some states can randomly test workers without a reasonable suspicion. This practice is usually restricted to situations where safety issues are a concern.
Employees who take medically necessary prescription drugs are generally protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Consult a local employment attorney or your state's attorney general if you have questions about laws in your jurisdiction.
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