Drug Testing In The Workplace

How important do you feel it is to have drug testing in the workplace? Imagine your shock and surprise if you had a drug-related accident at work! Are you prepared to deal with the aftermath of such an occurrence? How would your business reputation suffer if local law enforcement were making drug-related arrests at your business? Don't your employees deserve to work in a drug-free environment?

Drug Testing In The Workplace - Is It Necessary?

There are many reasons why employers are implementing drug testing in the workplace, particularly since accidents can occur if an employee is working while under the influence of drugs. Drug usage and abuse is at an all-time high today, particularly with many states legalizing the use of drugs such as marijuana. Often an employer can't determine if an employee is using drugs unless they participate in drug testing.

Employees that are working while under the influence of drugs are not only putting themselves at risk but are also putting their co-workers at risk. This is especially true in work environments where the employee is working with hazardous or dangerous tools and machinery. Drug testing is required for individuals operating heavy equipment or driving trucks, according to the regulations set by the Department of Transportation.

Is Drug Testing In The Workplace Legal?

Drug testing of employees may be mandated by state for federal laws. For instance, government employers cannot require their employees undergo drug testing because it is considered a violation of the employee's rights to be safe from unreasonable search and seizure. However, the employee can be required to undergo drug testing if there is justifiable reason to believe the employee is using drugs. This may be referred to as "for cause" testing, which means that the employer has good cause to order drug testing.

Companies often choose to implement a policy that spells out their stand regarding drug testing. This offers the employer some flexibility, while ensuring employees do not feel there is discrimination. For instance, an employer may state that twice a year, all employees will submit to drug testing. Employees may be required to sign a form that states they understand the company's policy at the time of hire.

State Laws Regarding Drug Testing In The Workplace

In most private employment jobs, employers may be restricted from mandating drug testing in the workplace. However, this does vary from state to state. In some states, any employer may not order random drug or blanket drug tests on all employees. Rather, they must specify a certain employee, and the drug testing must be because they have reason to believe the individual is on drugs or if the job the employee is performing would be hazardous if performed while under the influence of drugs.

Additionally, courts have typically ruled that employers can order drug testing if an employee appears to be under the influence or if there is an accident that may have been caused by drug use.

Drug Testing For Potential Employees

While mandatory drug testing may be restricted in certain states, most states allow employees to require drug testing as a condition of employment. However to avoid discrimination claims, the state does require that the applicant knows that the drug testing is part of the application process for all new employees. It should also be stated on the job posting that drug testing is part of the application process. All applicants applying for the same job must be required to submit to drug testing. I most cases, applicants are required to agree to the test or withdraw their application.

If you're an employer and business owner, you owe it to your employees to operate a drug-free work environment that provides them a safe place to work. Check into how you can implement drug testing in workplace!