Drug Testing

Pre-Employment Drug Testing

Employers can conduct pre-employment drug testing and make a job offer contingent on applicants successfully passing a pre-employment drug test. Having an offer letter that clearly defines the offer will be withdrawn if the applicant fails the drug test is highly recommended. If you require pre-employment drug tests, it is best to communicate that requirement to applicants during the interview process and obtain the applicant’s written consent to the pre-employment drug test.

Testing During Employment

You should conduct drug tests only if you have a reasonable suspicion that the employee is impaired or is displaying erratic behavior.

Generally, you should have specific, objective evidence that the employee is impaired, such as an employee slurring his or her words, having trouble walking or performing job duties, smelling like alcohol or marijuana, or showing other physical signs of impairment. Reasonable suspicion is more than just a belief that someone may be using drugs or hearing from another employee that someone may be using. Additionally, a member of supervision or management should escort the employee to the testing facility and make arrangements for the employee to be transported home, as the employee cannot drive to the testing facility themselves.

You should include a drug testing section in your employee handbook to reference for an employee’s termination. Including this in the standards of conduct ensures that the termination process will proceed smoothly.


If an employee causes or contributes to an accident that seriously damages a Company vehicle, property, equipment, or injury to himself or herself or another employee, that employee is subject to post-accident testing. In addition, there must be a reasonable basis for concluding that drug use could have contributed to the incident.  In any of these instances, the investigation and subsequent testing must take place within two hours following the accident, if not sooner. Similar to reasonable suspicion testing, the employee will not be allowed to drive himself or herself to the testing facility.