518 Illegal Drug Use and Drug Screening

518.1 Policy

The Postal Service is committed to providing a drug–free workplace. Applicants are asked on job applications whether they are currently engaged in the illegal use of drugs, which include the use of drugs made illegal under federal law unless prescribed by a physician. A yes answer makes the applicant ineligible for postal employment. A no answer allows the hiring process to proceed. Note: The Postal Service applies federal law to determine whether drug use is illegal, even if a state or local law permits such use.

Before an actual job offer, hiring officials or certified interviewers may not inquire into drug abuse in the applicant’s past. Inquiries can be made after the job offer (see 57, Medical Suitability).

518.2 Pre-Employment Drug Test

A pre-employment drug test is ordered for applicants recommended for selection by the interviewer when the applicant is within reach for selection (e.g., no sooner than 90 days before anticipated hiring). Only applicants determined to be drug-free as a result of the urinalysis are eligible for appointment. A drug screen test that results in a qualified status is good for 90 days from the date of the result. Applicant names entered on a Hiring List before expiration of the 90–day qualification period are eligible for employment consideration regardless of the date of appointment from that List.

Postal employees who apply for promotion, reassignment, or change to lower level are not considered applicants for drug screening purposes, except for positions in the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

Note: A new drug test is not required if the applicant is a former employee and has been selected for rehire within 90 days or less of their separation.

518.3 Rescheduling a Pre-Employment Drug Test

An applicant’s failure to respond to a request to schedule a drug test or report as scheduled may result in his or her rejection for employment consideration. Human Resources has discretion to reorder a drug test for an applicant who fails to respond to the request to schedule a drug test or to report for a scheduled drug test.

518.4 Ineligible Applicants

Applicants who are ineligible as a result of the drug screen urinalysis are rejected for the vacancy for which applied and any other vacancy for which they are currently an active applicant.

Applicants who are ineligible as a result of the drug screen urinalysis are disqualified for postal employment for 90 days from the date of the result and may not be rescheduled for drug test during this period of ineligibility. Applicants are not excluded from reapplying for future vacancies. Redetermine the drug-free qualification when applicants reapply.

518.5 Applicants for Commercial Driving Positions

Applicants for positions requiring a commercial driver’s license (CDL) are scheduled for a pre-employment drug test as described in 518.2. Applicants who receive a job offer for a position requiring a commercial driver’s license are further screened as required by law prior to hire. The job offer is conditional upon meeting all requirements for drivers of commercial vehicles including providing a pre-employment certification (PS Form 4601, Pre-Employment Statement for Commercial Drivers) and a release of drug and alcohol testing records from previous employers (PS Form 4602, Release of Information Form: 49 CFR Part 40 Drug and Alcohol Testing).

Applicants hired into positions requiring a CDL are required by law to submit to random drug and alcohol testing while employed in safety-sensitive positions.