Unread 10-17-2001, 01:53 AM
wendy ulmer
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Default Pre-Employment Physical Cost

Our hiring procedure is to offer someone the job contingent upon passage of the physical/drug.

What we've encountered multiple times now: they take their physical, pass, and never show up for their first day of work and we never hear from them again. This is happening mainly in our production area in Michigan.

Question: Can we "make" them pay the cost if they never call, never start?

Please advise.


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Unread 10-17-2001, 02:55 AM
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Default RE: Pre-Employment Physical Cost

Check your state laws to confirm whether this is permissable. Some states allow this to happen if the individual fails to report or quits abruptly during initial evaluation period, while others prohibit this. I would question your ability to collect this cost from someone who is that inconsiderate and cavalier....... Perhaps scheduling the physical on the 1st day of work will avoid that particular problem......
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Unread 10-17-2001, 04:22 PM
Margaret Morford
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Default RE: Pre-Employment Physical Cost

I would recommend not giving them the physical on their first day of work because then they are employees and you will have to terminate them if they fail or you discover a problem. If you have insurance from the first day of employment, they now have COBRA rights. If there is a drug test, it will be at least 24 hours before you find out they failed. I recommend withdrawing the offer before thay start work.

Margaret Morford
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Unread 10-18-2001, 06:55 AM
Bill Altman MI
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Default RE: Pre-Employment Physical Cost

Probably not.

Michigan's Wage and Fringe Benefits Act prohibits employers from requiring employees to provide a "fee, gift, tip, gratuity or other remuneration or consideration" in order to obtain employment. In July 2000, the Michigan Supreme Court held that the language of the Act is broad enough to prohibit employers from charging employees for training expenses that are a condition of employment. See "Requiring employee to sign tuition contract violates law," Michigan Employment Law Letter, Sept. 2000. The same analysis would apply here.

It sounds like your physical/drug testing program is a condition of employment. Therefore, requiring applicants to pay for the testing in order to obtain employment would likely violate the Wage and Fringe Benefits Act.

William E. Altman
Vercruysse Metz & Murray
Associate Editor, Michigan Employment Law Letter

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