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Can companies drug test minors?

drug test cup form

Question:

Dear Advice Guy,

Does [my company] drug test minors? Will my parents know the results?

– Kerri Allan, QSR Cashier, Raleigh, NC

Answer:

While the laws vary by state, in general, while minors can consent to drug testing, it is not very enforceable unless a parent or legal guardian also consents. If your company drug tests over 18, it should apply that standard across the board to all employees. Parental consent should be included on all forms as a separate signature line or related form and should be part of all pre-employment paperwork.

Despite your parent’s consent to the testing, my recommendation is that the consent form is clear that the results of any testing will only be shared with you unless you expressly give permission for those results to be shared with your parents. Restaurants can get into dangerous legal areas disclosing private health information like drug testing results to anyone besides the employee in question.

The Society for Human Resource Management advises, “as with all adult applicants and employees, minors are afforded the same rights under Title VII, including the provision that all pre-employment and post-hire screenings should demonstrate job-relatedness and be part of a uniformly applied practice…”

As always, run your policy and the language in your employee manual by your attorney and take advantage of the resources of your state restaurant association. More on drug testing policies here

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