African American workers are 17 percent more likely than white workers to report working for employers that perform workplace drug testing, according to a study from the Yale School of Medicine published in the Early View of the American Journal on Addictions available at

The study – ‘Racial/ethnic differences in report of drug testing practices at the workplace level in the U.S.’ – analyzed nearly 70,000 responses from the 2008–2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health for the relationship between race and ethnicity in  workplace drug testing among white, Hispanic, and African American workers 18 years or older. The results of the study include the following:

  • Among 69,163 respondents, 48.2 percent reported employment in a workplace that performs drug testing.
  • Of the 48.2 percent reporting workplace drug testing, 63.6 percent of African American workers reported working for an employer that drug tested opposed to 45.9 percent of white workers.
  • Younger African American males living in non-urban areas and likely working “blue collar” jobs were associated with reporting of workplace level drug testing.
  • African Americans were associated with reporting of workplace level drug testing among executive/administrative/managerial/financial workers and technicians/related support occupations.
  • Hispanics were associated with reporting of workplace level drug testing among technicians/related support occupations.

The study – authored by William C. Becker MD, Salimah Meghani PhD, Jeanette M. Tetrault MD, and David A. Fiellin MD – found that “racial/ethnic differences in report of workplace drug testing exist within and across various occupations” and also “highlights the potential bias that can be introduced when drug testing policies are not implemented in a universal fashion,” according to its authors.

According to studies, drug and alcohol abuse in the workplace can cost employers billions of dollars. For more information about workplace drug testing, visit Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – ‘The Background Check Authority®’ and nationwide background screening firm accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) –  at or call Toll Free 888.999.4474.


About Employment Screening Resources® (ESR):

Founded by safe hiring expert Attorney Lester Rosen in 1997, Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – ‘The Background Check Authority®’– provides accurate and actionable information that empowers employers to make informed hiring decisions for the benefit of their organizations, employees, and the public. Founder and CEO Rosen literally wrote the book on background checks with ‘The Safe Hiring Manual’ and ESR is accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®), a distinction held by a small percent of screening firms. Employers choosing ESR know they have selected an agency meeting the highest industry standards. For more information about ESR, visit or call Toll Free 888.999.4474.

About ESR News:  The Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) News blog – ESR News – provides employment screening information for employers, recruiters, and jobseekers on a variety of topics including credit reports, criminal records, data privacy, discrimination, E-Verify, jobs reports, legal updates, negligent hiring, workplace violence, and use of search engines and social network sites for background checks. For more information about ESR News or to send comments or questions, please email ESR News Editor Thomas Ahearn at [email protected]. To subscribe to the ESR News Blog Feed, visit To subscribe to the complimentary ESRcheck Report monthly newsletter, please visit


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