Court Holds Employment Applicants Not Entitled to Wages or Travel Costs For Pre-Employment Drug Test

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently held, in Johnson v. WinCo Foods Holdings, Inc., that WinCo job applicants were not entitled to pay for time required to take a pre-employment drug test, nor was WinCo required to cover the travel expenses associated with undergoing the test. (The employer must shoulder the cost of the testing.)
The Court rejected an argument advanced by the job applicants that, because the tests were administered under the control of WinCo, they must be categorized as employees under California’s “control test” used to determine whether an employment relationship exists.
The Court held the control test did not apply because drug testing was a way to secure employment rather than a responsibility for those already employed.

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