There are 6 reasons employers should drug test employees:
- Pre-employment: testing used as a preventative method to avoid hiring individuals who abuse drugs or alcohol. This testing is common in the application process.
- Accident: testing required by the Department of Transportation and adopted by other companies and organizations in their own policies that tests for drug and alcohol use after an accident has occurred.
- Random drug testing: allows for an employer to select, using a random process, one or more employees to undergo testing.
- Reasonable suspicion: testing where an employer has reason to believe, through observation, that an employee’s appearance, behavior and/or conduct indicate the possible use of alcohol or drugs. A supervisor can be trained to recognize signs and symptoms of the drug and alcohol use by attending an ESS-hosted training session.
- Return to duty: testing, required by the DOT, for any employee who has previously tested positive or has previously refused to test.
- Follow-up: testing that occurs after an employee, who has been in rehabilitation for drugs or alcohol, has returned to work. This testing is to prevent employees from relapsing (which is typical in the first year of recovery).
But there are 6 REAL reasons you should be testing…
- To help the community: By addressing the drug abuse problem effectively, employers “do their part” in encouraging a safe and healthy community whether that be for bus drivers driving kids to school or for construction workers building the newest attraction.
- To maintain productivity: Employees who are using drugs are 1/3rd less productive than those who aren’t! At a time of increasing competitiveness in the business world, employers cannot afford to lose productivity due to abuse or misuse of drugs or alcohol.
- To protect employees and customers: Employees using drugs present a danger to themselves, their co-workers and the general public. Drug testing allows for workplace standards to be a safe and healthy workplace.
- To contain health care costs: Drug users are not only more likely to injure others on the job, they also incur four times the medical expenses of the average employee. Some state workers’ compensation laws deny overage if the injury resulted from the use of illicit drugs or alcohol.
- To deter drug use: Implementing a drug-free workplace as a condition and standard of employment discourages employees from illegal drug use or may cause drug users to apply elsewhere.
- To rehabilitate employees: Drug testing can uncover drug dependency problems and forces people to confront the issue. This identification and intervention can ultimately be life-saving.
Information provided by the Labor and Employment Law Blog.