A prospective employee’s background drug test came back positive and he staunchly disputes the results. We need all the workers we can get. Under what grounds should/could we retest him? Do we owe him a second chance? Should we never give second chances on something like this?

It is legal to not hire a prospective employee who fails a drug test administered by a qualified drug-testing company. It is important to screen prospective employees for drug usage based on important considerations.

Any organization serving seniors needs qualified employees making treatment or other important decisions concerning its residents. As an employer, you do not want your employees making these decisions and implementing treatment or other important decisions when the employee’s judgment may be impaired by drug usage.

Moreover, if you have a policy that you will not hire someone who fails a pre-employment drug test, under what grounds would you retest? Retesting based upon a prospective employee’s vociferous denial of drug use may make the policy unenforceable in the future.

The fact that you need “all the workers you can get” should not lead to non-enforcement of the pre-employment  drug screening policy. You need qualified and unimpaired workers.

Another consideration supporting the policy is the fact that there are significant amounts of drugs on the employer’s premises. The drugs must be safeguarded from theft or unauthorized use by employees.

In conclusion, presuming you have a qualified company performing the pre-employment testing, it will be difficult to enforce the pre-employment testing if you retest because a prospective employee denies drug use and claims the test results are wrong.