Drug Test

Making a job applicant take a drug test as a pre-employment requirement is an exercise of management prerogative.

What’s the legal basis?

It appears that there is confusion on the legal basis for drug test as a pre-employment requirement. While random drug testing for those who are already employees is clearly provided for in Republic Act No. 9165 (“R.A. 9165”), also known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, and further strengthened by DOLE Department Order No. 53, Series of 2003 (“DO-53”), also known as the Guidelines for the Implementation of a Drug-Free Workplace Policies and Programs for the Private Sector, there appears to be no exact legal provision when it comes to drug test for job applicants as a pre-employment requirement.

Observe, for random drug testing of those already employed, R.A. 9165 provides:

(d) Officers and employees of public and private offices. – Officers and employees of public and private offices, whether domestic or overseas, shall be subjected to undergo a random drug test as contained in the company's work rules and regulations, which shall be borne by the employer, for purposes of reducing the risk in the workplace. Any officer or employee found positive for use of dangerous drugs shall be dealt with administratively which shall be a ground for suspension or termination, subject to the provisions of Article 282 of the Labor Code and pertinent provisions of the Civil Service Law…”Section 36 (d), Article III, R.A. 9165


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