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Preemployment Screening and Testing: District of Columbia

Preemployment Screening and Testing requirements for other states

Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.

Authors: Stuart R. Buttrick, Susan W. Kline and Sarah E. Caldwell, Faegre Baker Daniels LLP


  • Certain District of Columbia employers must test job applicants for drugs and alcohol prior to employment. See Drug and Alcohol Testing.
  • Employers face restrictions, though, in testing prospective employees for marijuana use. See Marijuana Testing.
  • The District of Columbia prohibits private employers from using lie detector tests as a condition of employment. See Polygraph Testing.
  • Employers are limited in their use of arrest records as part of the preemployment screening process. See Arrest and Conviction Records.
  • Effective December 2014, most employers in the District are restricted from criminal history inquiries prior to making a conditional job offer. See Ban the Box.
  • Some employers, however, are required to conduct background checks of all prospective employees, including schools, health care facilities and others. See Mandatory Background Checks.
  • DC employers generally can access an individual's credit report, but also must be mindful of the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act. See Credit Reports.