Whatever the reasoning for drug testing your employees, whether it’s a new hire, post-accident testing, or recurrent testing, you are entering an agreement with your employees. When employees sign on, they agree to your specific drug policy stipulations.
That means understanding that there will be consequences for a failed drug test. It also means knowing what their responsibilities are regarding drug testing. Is it their job to schedule it? Does drug testing happen on-site, or must they travel to a testing facility? Will they have to pay for their test, and will it be reimbursed?
Finally, one of the most important questions: will they be compensated for their time taking a drug test? Whatever answer your company gives to this question, you should be upfront and honest about it to your recruits.
Unsure of where you fall on this decision? Read on to learn more. Additionally, to find a trustworthy facility for drug testing for your employees, visit https://soteriascreening.com.
How do Companies Feel About Reimbursing for Drug Testing?
There are a couple of schools of thought about this. According to California law, employers are not required to reimburse new hires for travel expenses or time related to a pre-employment drug test.
Employers often extend conditional job offers to applicants contingent on them passing a drug test. They are told the job is theirs if they pass a drug test.
By definition, this applicant is not technically under the employ of that company when they are asked to take a drug test. As such, you can see why applicants might not be entitled to compensation at this point. What if they were to fail the drug test? That is wasted money for the company, which in essence, paid for gas for an employee they aren’t bringing on.
Where Does a Drug Test Fall in Terms of the FLSA?
The FLSA, also known as the Fair Labor Standards Act, sets standards and guidelines for how companies compensate their employees.
Under FLSA, employers must pay employees for all hours worked.
According to the policies of FLSA, if a lecture, meeting, training program, etc., is voluntary, that is, not required, they are not required to compensate the employee for their time.
Plain and simple, by those standards, if a drug test is not voluntary, employers are required to compensate them.
However, that’s where the fine print becomes important. The FLSA only applies to “employees” already working at the company. Applicants, volunteers, and independent contractors are not under protection under those same guidelines.
What Can I Do to Prepare Applicants for Taking a Pre-Employment Drug Test Near Me?
So, in the end, applicants, trainees, volunteers, etc., are all subject to the company’s discretion regarding pre-employment drug testing. This, as in the case of WinCo Foods, can lead to some ire and even litigation from those applicants.
To avoid conflict, employers can best lay out the conditions of their prospective job offers and what the applicant can expect. If you’re not going to reimburse them for the travel or time spent taking this test, be clear and let them know AHEAD of time.
Be very clear that a prospective job offer is just that: PROSPECTIVE. The applicant should understand that they are not yet an employee if that’s your reason for not reimbursing them.
Practicing candor for all forms of drug policies is a good habit, too. Be clear about what a failed test could mean for them. Inform them during onboarding that accidents could subject them to post-accident drug testing, etc.
Being upfront and honest with your employees, applicants, volunteers, and trainees is the best way to avoid confusion and build confidence and trust in that relationship.
Protecting your investments and business as an employer is incredibly important, especially during recruitment and hiring. Protect yourself by conducting background checks, application drug tests, or periodic employee drug tests to ensure your company is safe.
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