5 Things You Should Understand About Drug Testing in the Workplace

Companies across the nation are aware of how important a pre-employment examination for drug testing is. The procedure is to ensure that new hires are not using illegal drugs, especially in the workplace.

There are various drug tests that are utilized by employers, such as a mouth swab drug test, urine drug test, hair drug test, and a blood drug test. These types of tests will vary as each employer chooses a particular test based on their needs in the workplace.

Whether you are a small business or large, it is important to set up an employee drug-testing policy. According to the National Drug-Free Workplace Alliance, small businesses are at greater risk of substance users as drug users don’t apply for work at large brands.

Instead, drug abusers look for employment in smaller companies with fewer resources and policies. If you are considering drug tests in your workplace, there are a few things you should know.

Here are 5 things you should understand about drug testing in the workplace.

Test One, Test All

While the law does not specifically say that drug tests must test their employees, you may put your business at risk of anti-discrimination if you don’t. If you test only employees that are suspected of drug use, one might assume that the process is singling out people based on levels of race, income, gender, etc.

Businesses that Receive Federal Funds Must Undergo Drug Testing

According to the Federal Drug-Free Workplace Act, businesses with over $100,000 in federal contracts must test all employees for drug use. This also includes businesses that receive federal grants.

Mid-Size Brands must Offer Employment Prior to Drug Tests

If you have more than fifteen employees in the workplace, you must follow the Americans with Disabilities Act that declares it illegal to test a job applicant without making the condition of an employment offer at their business. This means that it is approved to test applicants. However, you can only test candidates who have an offer to work at your business.

Consider the State-Specified Laws

Each state has their own set of rules in regards to drug testing in the workplace. For example, Virginia and Illinois do not require job applicants to pay for the test themselves as the company must cover the expense. You can check the U.S. Department of Labor, to determine what each state allows in their drug-free program in the workplace. Participants in Tennessee are protected from lawsuits that surround the discipline of an employee who violates the policy.

Be Honest with the Testing Policy

Never try to get a specimen sample from any employee or potential applicant without their knowledge or consent. Not only will this break the law, but also put the company at risk of a lawsuit.

Conclusion

Furthermore, drug testing may be done when an employee is involved in an accident in the workplace or suffers from an injury. Companies will need to have a written drug policy that discusses the procedure of the test.

2 thoughts to “5 Things You Should Understand About Drug Testing in the Workplace”

  1. I thought you had an interesting point about drug testing all employees. I totally understand what you mean about wanting to avoid claims of discrimination, but it seems strange that a company would drug test people who they don’t suspect of drug use. It sounds like a waste of time and resources, especially if the company has a large number of employees. I’m not sure what the right middle-ground is, though. This is definitely a touchy topic, and I’m glad that I don’t need to make any of these calls myself.

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