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Old 08-14-2010, 09:01 PM
 
200 posts, read 209,811 times
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Default Employee to pay for drug test?

Is it legal for an employer to make a prospective employee bear the cost of their drug test/background check? Is this determined by state, not federal law? I am interested in NJ policy (seems to be no in NJ), and would like a second opinion.
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Old 08-14-2010, 09:23 PM
 
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Yes it is legal. Many federal contractors do this, not just with drug tests but with security clearance background checks, fingerprinting, etc. It can be pretty expensive. Some employers choose to pass on the cost to applicants, some don't.

Just be sure to verify the entire hiring process before you pay for the tests. The background check should be the very last thing an employer does. Most will even extend the offer pending the background check, so you know if the offer is even worth going through the background check for. Don't fall for employers who demand that you pay for the checks upfront, before they've even looked at your application. If they insist at that stage, you are likely just wasting your money.
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Old 08-14-2010, 10:18 PM
 
Location: Chciago
721 posts, read 1,414,216 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kodaka View Post
Yes it is legal. Many federal contractors do this, not just with drug tests but with security clearance background checks, fingerprinting, etc. It can be pretty expensive. Some employers choose to pass on the cost to applicants, some don't.

Just be sure to verify the entire hiring process before you pay for the tests. The background check should be the very last thing an employer does. Most will even extend the offer pending the background check, so you know if the offer is even worth going through the background check for. Don't fall for employers who demand that you pay for the checks upfront, before they've even looked at your application. If they insist at that stage, you are likely just wasting your money.
I have heard of this however everytime I have heard of it you get your money back as long as you pass the drug test and accept the position.
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Old 08-15-2010, 08:18 AM
 
Location: Orlando, FL
12,153 posts, read 10,021,974 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamaicabound60565 View Post
I have heard of this however everytime I have heard of it you get your money back as long as you pass the drug test and accept the position.
I've heard that too. I've also seen where if the company pays for the drug test and you fail, then you have to pay the cost. I don't know why people would go take a drug test anyway if they know they're going to fail
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Old 08-15-2010, 08:35 AM
 
Location: Chciago
721 posts, read 1,414,216 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by natalayjones View Post
I've heard that too. I've also seen where if the company pays for the drug test and you fail, then you have to pay the cost. I don't know why people would go take a drug test anyway if they know they're going to fail
That's the thing, if they make you pay you wouldn't take it, if they didn't make you pay even if you smoked a joint the day before you'd probably be like got nothing to lose may as well go take it and see if they mess up and you pass.
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Old 08-21-2010, 11:44 PM
 
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If you are working w/a temp agency or any company and THEY require a drug test, should you be paid for the time it takes you to go and have the test done? I had to go b/c it was the policy of the agency that in order to do temp-to-hire assignments, you had to have a drug test. (This was my first temp-to-hire assignment.) I lost 2 hours of work time on an assignment and the agency would not pay me for the 2 hrs. I understand that their client should not be responsible, but shouldn't the agency have made up the difference since it was at their request? I was told by another company, who did pay me the time it took to do the test, that I would be working off the clock if they didn't pay me, which they said was illegal in my state.
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Old 08-22-2010, 12:03 AM
 
4,806 posts, read 10,883,273 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom2jacknjess View Post
If you are working w/a temp agency or any company and THEY require a drug test, should you be paid for the time it takes you to go and have the test done? I had to go b/c it was the policy of the agency that in order to do temp-to-hire assignments, you had to have a drug test. (This was my first temp-to-hire assignment.) I lost 2 hours of work time on an assignment and the agency would not pay me for the 2 hrs. I understand that their client should not be responsible, but shouldn't the agency have made up the difference since it was at their request? I was told by another company, who did pay me the time it took to do the test, that I would be working off the clock if they didn't pay me, which they said was illegal in my state.
Under FLSA (http://www.dol.gov/elaws/esa/flsa/hoursworked/screenER13.asp - broken link), drug testing of employees is considered hours worked and you must be paid. But only IF you are already considered to be an employee of the company. In this case it sounds like you haven't begun working for them yet, so the drug-testing is actually a pre-employment step, and you don't have to be paid for the time, any more than you have to be paid for the interview or application time.
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Old 08-22-2010, 10:27 AM
 
Location: Maryland not Murlin
7,205 posts, read 13,438,495 times
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I have never had to pay for a drug test or back ground check; they were all paid for by the potential employer.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jamaicabound60565 View Post
That's the thing, if they make you pay you wouldn't take it, if they didn't make you pay even if you smoked a joint the day before you'd probably be like got nothing to lose may as well go take it and see if they mess up and you pass.
I am sure that passing the cost onto the applicant would thin out the application pool whether they were clean or not, so it might be to your advantage to just go ahead and pay for it depending on cost and your desire/need for the position.

Um, if you smoked dope the night before, you will fail. If you get a false positive, you will also fail as it is going to be assumed that you took the drug and you have no way of proving that you didn't. Allergy medication can cause a false positive for amphetamines, and Ibuprofen and a B2 supplement can cause a false positive for marijuana, although it really depends on the type of test since most tests can now screen out ibuprofen. I would imagine by now, allergy medications and cough syrups, too, but the point still remains that if you do get a false positive for any reason, you are considered guilty.

And don't think that you can use some product or other remedy to conceal what ever drug you took. You will either get a false positive or they can detect the other substance if they look for it. They are not stupid, you know, but how in depth they go really depends on how much money the employer (or you) is willing (required) to spend.
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Old 08-22-2010, 10:33 AM
 
256 posts, read 665,043 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kodaka View Post
Under FLSA (http://www.dol.gov/elaws/esa/flsa/hoursworked/screenER13.asp - broken link), drug testing of employees is considered hours worked and you must be paid. But only IF you are already considered to be an employee of the company. In this case it sounds like you haven't begun working for them yet, so the drug-testing is actually a pre-employment step, and you don't have to be paid for the time, any more than you have to be paid for the interview or application time.
I have actually been an employee of the temp agency for 11 months. They have told me that I am their employee, so technically I should have been paid by the temp agency. They would have billed their client, the company where my assignment was, for 5 hrs (6 hrs - 1 hr for lunch), and the temp agency should have paid me the 2 hrs remaining that I spent getting the test done. At least that's what I thought.
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Old 08-22-2010, 10:38 AM
 
256 posts, read 665,043 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K-Luv View Post
I have never had to pay for a drug test or back ground check; they were all paid for by the potential employer.


I am sure that passing the cost onto the applicant would thin out the application pool whether they were clean or not, so it might be to your advantage to just go ahead and pay for it depending on cost and your desire/need for the position.

Um, if you smoked dope the night before, you will fail. If you get a false positive, you will also fail as it is going to be assumed that you took the drug and you have no way of proving that you didn't. Allergy medication can cause a false positive for amphetamines, and Ibuprofen and a B2 supplement can cause a false positive for marijuana, although it really depends on the type of test since most tests can now screen out ibuprofen. I would imagine by now, allergy medications and cough syrups, too, but the point still remains that if you do get a false positive for any reason, you are considered guilty.

And don't think that you can use some product or other remedy to conceal what ever drug you took. You will either get a false positive or they can detect the other substance if they look for it. They are not stupid, you know, but how in depth they go really depends on how much money the employer (or you) is willing (required) to spend.
I wasn't questioning the fact that they did the test. I didn't have to pay for the actual drug test. My questions was if I went during a normal workday and I am employeed by the agency, why didn't I get paid for the 2 hrs of work I missed b/c I spent it getting the test done?

But you're right in the end, it wasn't worth making a big deal over and then have the agency not call me for future assignments.
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