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Can we demand a drug test for an employee recently convicted of drug violations?

by on
in Hiring,Human Resources

Q. One of our employees was recently in jail for traffic and drug violations. Before he returns to work, what guidelines can we follow to ensure that he’s drug-free? Will we be discriminating if we require a drug test before allowing him back on site, even though we didn’t require such a test when he was hired?

A. Do you have a drug testing policy? If so, does the policy provide for drug testing in certain circumstances? If you have a policy, you should follow it.

If you don’t, you can require a drug test in this situation since there is a reasonable basis for doing so, according to Pennsylvania law.

Make sure you act consistently. If you have had other employees convicted of drug offenses who returned to work, have you required them to undergo a drug test?

In lieu of requiring him to be tested before he returns to work, you could consider having him sign an agreement that he understands that remaining drug-free is a condition of his employment, that you have the right to require him to be tested in the future and that if he fails a drug test, his employment will be terminated.

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