Can an employer ask a candidate to perform a drug-screening and consent to a background check without a formal written offer of employment presented first?

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Can an employer ask a candidate to perform a drug-screening and consent to a background check without a formal written offer of employment presented first?

A potential employer had me go through a series of five interviews. Recently this potential employer gave me a verbal confirmation that the position was awarded to me and had me undergo a background check, drug screening and non-disclosure agreement before presenting me a written offer.

Asked on June 17, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Yes, the employer can, especially since there is nothing particularly important about a written offer of employment: a written employment offer can still be rescinded or modified, or you could be hired and promptly fired, because employment is employment at will unless there is an actual written employment contract. There is no real difference or distinction between an oral and a written offer; the only important distinction is between having a written contract and not.


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