Does a potential employee have to fill out a W4 and/or an I-9 prior to taking a pre-employment drug test?

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Does a potential employee have to fill out a W4 and/or an I-9 prior to taking a pre-employment drug test?

Asked on September 11, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, New Mexico

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

A W-4 or I-9 is not required until you are hired, since they are used to make sure employees are paid and taxes withheld correctly. However, some companies "conditionally" hire new employees, subject to the drug test results. And the law does not specify an exact time when these forms must be filled out, other than before payment W-4 or no later than three days after employment I-9. So while it is somewhat irregular to have these forms filled out before the test, it is no unheard of and not illegal. That said, if you do not trust the prospective employer and feel they may just be trying to get your social security number for illegal purposes, without an intention of giving you a job, then you should be going through with this process.


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