Many companies have employment drug screen policies in place to ensure their new hires are not using illegal drugs.
Employment drug screening is one of the benchmarks used to determine whether or not an applicant is a good fit for the company.
There are many additional reasons why workplace drug testing takes place.
What is a drug test?
A drug test is a simple way to determine whether or not a person is using drugs, the amount and what kind if they are found in their system.
How do drug tests work?
These tests are administered through small amounts of urine, blood taken from your fingertip, or a hair sample. Drug testing is very reliable and accurate when done properly.
How important is having a drug testing policy?
For most organizations, employee drug screening is very important. According to drugabuse.gov, 67.9% of all adult drug users are employed on a full- or part-time basis. Companies that have random drug testing policies in place have been successful in a number of areas like employee morale, a reduction in absenteeism, accidents and healthy employees.
Additional advantages of employee drug testing:
- Safer work conditions. When employees are drug-free, it lessens the risk of employment hazards and on-the-job injuries.
- Reduction in legal liability. When an accident occurs due to an employee using drugs, having an ongoing drug test at work policy can help reduce any liability that may occur.
- Reduction in theft and fraud. Employees who are using drugs may feel the need to steal from the company to support their habit.
- Helps with reputation management. Companies who support a drug-free workplace demonstrates to the employees and general public their investment in maintaining a safe and healthy work environment. This speaks volumes as to what kind of organization they are.
Are there disadvantages to employee drug testing?
There are always advantages and disadvantages to any situation. For those employees who are using drugs, a random drug test at work will give them no time to prepare. For the employee, it is a disadvantage; for the organization, an advantage worth having.
The costs of employee drug testing can be high, especially during the pre-employment stage. Other disadvantages for the organization is if an employee accuses the company of violating their privacy. Having a drug screen compliance component in your employee manual is a must. This will protect the company in the event of an unfair dismissal suit.
For some companies, pre-employment drug screening is required depending on the agency you are applying to, and the field. Careers in transportation like the airlines, railroads, and public transportation must have pre-employment drug testing policies in place.
Additionally, most government entities require their employees to undergo pre-employment drug screening in order to move through the employment process.
Is random drug testing fair?
Most organizations consider this a fair policy that will work to protect their current employees while weeding out those applicants who do not meet the company’s drug-free standards. In every instance where it is required, it demonstrates the company’s investment to a healthy, violence-free workplace. When random drug testing is conducted, safety protocols are stronger, and there is a lessened chance of serious injury.
With the availability of drugs at an all-time high, having concrete policies in place to counteract drug use can help cut the costs of rehabilitation or replacing employees due to high turnover. When considering the investment of finding and retaining good employees, drug screening may be the right choice.