In a recent court case, an employer was found in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for requiring applicants to take drug tests before making a job offer.  

The EEOC successfully argued that the pre-offer drug tests violated the ADA because the tests constituted a “medical examination” that gathered medical information about the applicants, even if the tests were intended only to detect evidence of illegal drug use.  

The outcome of this case serves to remind employers that all pre-employment drug tests should be conducted post-offer.  It also serves as an example of how a formal interviewing and hiring policy can help to avoid this type of litigation altogether.  

The Department of Labor estimates that it costs employers up to 30 percent of an employee’s salary to replace a wrong hire. Additionally, violating anti-discrimination laws during the new hire process can result in significant penalties. According to the EEOC, discrimination charges and monetary remedies for victims of discrimination (including job applicants) have reached an all-time high over the past three years.

To help employers ensure that their hiring practices are effective and legally compliant, Personnel Concepts has introduced a comprehensive Interviewing and Hiring Program for Small Businesses.  This exclusive solution includes a guidebook featuring recommendations from three attorneys, two sets of documentation forms to avoid common legal issues relating to interview questions, and best practices in recruiting employees.