As an employer, do I have to pay for pre employment screenings?

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As an employer, do I have to pay for pre employment screenings?

I own a small trucking company. We are required to conduct pre employment drug tests on all new hires. But many times, people just leave and don’t give notice. Sometimes within the first couple of weeks. And I’m stuck with the bill and no driver. Is it legal to take the cost of the drug test out of their last check if they leave in the first 3 months without notice? That has happened to me 4 times in the last 6 months. I don’t mind paying for it if the employee stays. I don’t like being a temporary stepping stone.

Asked on April 16, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes, it is legal so long as the employee is clearly made aware, prior to incurring the cost (that is, prior to the screening) that they would pay if they are hired but then leave voluntarily before a certain time. You would have them sign an agreement or document to that effect, acknowledging that in exchange for the company paying for the test, that if they are offered and accept a job, that if they quit or resign before completing three months on the job, you may take the cost of the test from their final paycheck.


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