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This cup’s for you: The right way to test for drugs


With an increasing number of employees just saying “yes” to drugs these days, you can expect more Indiana companies to develop random drug-testing programs and establish rules that allow them to fire workers who test positive or don’t cooperate with the test. One note of caution: Make sure you can demonstrate that your drug test results are accurate and reliable …

Georgia-Pacific’s literacy test fails to make the grade


The U.S. Labor Department recently ruled that Georgia-Pacific’s use of a literacy test to screen applicants for jobs at its paper mills is discriminatory. The reason: Paper-mill workers don’t need to read well and black applicants are far more likely to fail a literacy test than whites, the department said …

Can we conduct medical exams before we make offers to out-of-state applicants?


Q. My company would like to institute a policy of conducting medical examinations on out-of-state applicants when workers interview here for jobs. This would reduce the number of trips an applicant would have to make before beginning employment with our company. The test results would be sealed (so the information cannot be relied upon in making job offers) and would be reviewed only if we offered, and the applicant accepted, a conditional offer of employment. Would such an arrangement violate the ADA? …

How to draft a legal drug testing policy


Q. I recently read a report that said drug use among employees actually went up in the past decade. We’re considering starting to do drug tests. What should our policy say? —L.U. …

Attorneys’ fees may be due even if employees collect nothing


It was a good case for the lawyers anyway. Demonstrating just how expensive an ADA case can be, a federal appeals court ordered fees to be paid to the attorneys who brought a class-action ADA case against Rent-A-Center. The case involved the company’s use of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory test to screen out applicants and employees with low scores …

Drug testing: Minimize lawsuit risk with smart policy


You have the right to demand a drug-free workplace, but employees also have reasonable rights to privacy. That’s why drug testing and substance-abuse prevention programs carry big-time legal risks if they’re not managed properly. Employers can safely administer drug testing before hiring someone, during a fitness-for-duty test and after a preventable accident …

Make sure job skills tests measure what prospective employees actually will do


You’ve just created a new position and a job description to go with it. That description includes essential job functions, as well as education and training requirements. Now you want to create a skills test to make sure applicants can do the job. Not so fast! Before you have the first applicant take the test, double-check that your test measures the attributes related to the essential functions you specified in the job description …

Fire them before you hire them


Culling through stacks of resumes and conducting two or three rounds of interviews takes too long, is too subjective and too often results in bad hires. Employee selection expert Karl Alrichs proposes a four-step hiring process that saves managers time, reveals the best candidates, and highlights the intangibles that separate good employees from the bad ones.

Protecting employment tests from legal challenges


Employers use a wide variety of tests to determine whether job applicants can perform the jobs they seek. The tests usually measure the candidates’ knowledge, skills and abilities. But if tests cover anything other than the employee’s ability to perform the job’s essential functions, employers could find themselves defending the tests in court …

Stick to objective standards to avoid needless litigation


If your organization is like most, you want to promote from within to build morale and reward hard work. How you handle those promotions can spell the difference between a harmonious and productive workplace and a discordant one, rife with jealousy and resentment