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Subject:RE: The OTHER Test From:"Giordano, Connie" <Connie -dot- Giordano -at- FMR -dot- COM> To:"'NZjaba -at- phi -dot- com'" <NZjaba -at- phi -dot- com>, TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com> Date:Wed, 18 Oct 2000 14:28:36 -0400
Depends on the nature of the software. When I did DoD contracting, we had
to, everyone did, programmers, writers, tech support, the receptionist. In
some financial industries, it's also a requirement. I find it no more, or
less, offensive than running a credit check or pulling my college
transcripts (good god, how relevant is a degree from 1982?). Such items
can exclude highly qualified people without any kind of extenuating
circumstances being known, but it's done to weed out the worst folks before
they even get to the starting gate. If you're going to test or screen some,
you need to be fair and screen them all.
I, like you, have had to go through the physical after the offer of
employment, but more and more companies are requiring it prior to the offer.
Genetic pre-disposition towards a serious illness is causing many to fear
the costs of providing benefits to those employees. Pretty heinous, but it
still goes on.
"Tell me and I'll forget. Show me, and I may not remember. Involve me,
and I'll understand." - Native American Proverb
From: NZjaba -at- phi -dot- com [mailto:NZjaba -at- phi -dot- com]
Sent: Wednesday, October 18, 2000 2:18 PM
Subject: RE: The OTHER Test
Brent, I was a little surprised that you've been in the position where a
drug screen was "part of the hiring process," which to me implies that you
were asked to take the test before you had an offer of employment. My last
two companies have required drug tests, but only after I accepted the
offer. Both tests were part of a pre-employment physical.
The first job was with a semiconductor manufacturer. Given the nature of
the work, which involves the use of hazardous chemicals, compressed gas
cylinders, high voltages, etc., I thought it reasonable to require a drug
screen for new employees. (My position was in an analytical lab, where we
routinely used concentrated acids and solvents.)
My current employer is also a manufacturing concern. The type of
manufacturing is not as inherently dangerous (although high voltage is an
issue), and my job does not expose me to any hazards. But I'm not sure
companies can pick and choose which positions require screening and which
Now if I decided to interview with a software company for a tech writing
job and was told a drug screen was required, it would make me wonder. What
I would ultimately decide would depend on all the other factors one has to
consider when looking at a potential employer.
I did once refuse to take a drug screen at a temporary employment agency.
I was looking for part-time clerical work while in school. The form I
needed to sign would have held them harmless in the event of a false
positive result. It wasn't worth it to me, so I walked away.