I recently accepted a job offer. The job offer did list "Conditions of Employment" being two things. The first that I can prove I can work in the US and the other that I can pass the background checks. Within all the documents in the new hire paper work, no drug screen was mentioned and none was mentioned in the job offer letter itself. I start on December 3rd.

While I understand any job can randomly drug test if they so choose due to suspicion of use (which I would never do), however, my question is if they can spring the drug test on me the last minute PRIOR to my employment start date? *Note: This job does not require me to operate any heavy machinery in any way.

I was advised the entire job letter would need to be amended and potentially they would need to change my start date if this was the case. Any insight? *I am not concerned about a routine drug screen

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    What makes you apprehensive about a routine drug screening? – user44108 Nov 23 '18 at 13:17
  • I have smoked weed in the past. – zachbonafide Nov 23 '18 at 13:20
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    I've never worked in the US so I'm not sure if it is different over there, but in my experience in the UK, if the company wanted the contractual right to randomly test you it would have to have your prior agreement to that policy by forming part of your written conditions of employment. – Andy Hames Nov 23 '18 at 13:21
  • I want to mention that no, I do not do hard drugs or any of that sort. I had a medical card in CA and smoked often, but haven't smoked in a little bit. However, made a recent trip back home (I no longer live in CA), so it's been about roughly a month since I've last smoked* I'm just wondering if a drug screen can happen PRIOR to my start date?*** – zachbonafide Nov 23 '18 at 13:45
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    I don't get this part. First you write "due to suspicion of use (which I would never do)", indicating that you don't do drugs. In a comment you write that you have smoked weed in the past, so there shouldn't be a problem now. So it seems that you don't do drugs, and thus I don't understand why a drug test would be problematic. – pipe Nov 23 '18 at 14:46

Yes, they can decide at any point, in most jurisdictions, to require a drug test.

The logic behind many employers is that if you can't stay off drugs long enough to secure a new job, then you have a problem that they'd rather not deal with.

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    This is pretty much the only applicable answer here. And if you have a drug screening before your job, you can assume there might be random tests during your employment. Basically, it's time to consider that you've left that part of your life behind. – user44108 Nov 23 '18 at 14:42
  • While I understand the random tests during employment... I've read on other forums that you have to consent to the drug screening at some point either in the job offer or have signed something being made aware that there will be drug screenings (meeting x criteria, such as suspicion of use as I mentioned before). Which, is why I am asking as I have not consented anywhere in my paperwork for one – zachbonafide Nov 23 '18 at 14:47
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    @zachbonafide you can deny the screening, you just wont get the job. – SaggingRufus Nov 23 '18 at 14:51

Drug screenings take some time to setup as you have to make an appointment and go to a lab. Your boss isn't going to just show up at your desk with a cup.

So if they havn't mentioned it yet they probably are not going to give you one.

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  • Most companies use an outside firm for this type of thing. If that is the case, it takes no effort to tell an employee they have x hours, to go to a local Quest Diagnostic location and bring back paperwork after supplying a sample. I don't think you appreciate how trivial it is to arrange a drug screening. – Donald Nov 26 '18 at 15:36
  • Well this question is about pre-employment drug screening in the USA. The 4 times I've done one, it was mentioned after the final interview and before the offer letter and invloved me picking the day of the screening from a 1or 2 week timeframe. Once I had to reschedule because the Quest office was booked solid. – Jeff Sall Nov 26 '18 at 16:01

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