For many employers, a pre-employment drug screen is a requirement in the hiring and onboarding process. It helps organizations mitigate risks associated with substance abuse in the workplace. Pre employment drug screening also helps preserve a company’s reputation. It’s especially important for small businesses, where a single drug-related incident, accident, or injury could have catastrophic results. Legal repercussions, alone, could bankrupt a small business or start up company. 

Requiring pre-employment drug testing for all employees as your company’s official written policy is a wise business move. It will protect you and your employees from risks associated with illicit drug use on the job. 

When a pre-employment drug test is required, the job offer is contingent upon the results of the drug screen. The onboarding process of new employees takes time and money. Instituting pre-employment drug testing as one of your initial steps in the hiring process will save both. It’s a proactive approach to weeding out any potential issues before making an investment in a new hire.

Drug testing before a final employment offer is commonly conducted at an offsite healthcare facility or laboratory. In the post-COVID-19 pandemic, many companies have employees who are remote. There are also home tests that these employees working remotely can take over a video call. 

A urine test is the standard specimen. It can detect a variety of substances that have been ingested up to five days before the screening. The other types of pre-employment drug tests include saliva, blood, and hair testing.

Pre-Employment Drug Screening

There is no federal mandate for most private employers to have a drug-free workplace policy in place. However, certain industries and federal contractors are compelled to submit to drug testing— pre employment and otherwise. These industries include safety and security-sensitive industries. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) are two primary examples. 

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA):

  • Up to 50 percent of all workers’ compensation claims are related to workplace substance abuse
  • Substance abuse can increase by 2.5 times the likelihood of an employee missing eight or more workdays annually
  • Substance abuse may contribute to productivity falling 33% lower than it would be otherwise

Instituting a drug-free workplace is key to protecting your company and your employees. Pre employment drug screening is an effective proactive solution to mitigating risks. It is easier and more cost-effective to sever ties with a candidate who fails a drug test than an onboarded employee who is already trained. However, having other checkpoints in place through an official written policy will offer greater protection and hold trained and integrated employees accountable. These checkpoints include random drug testing, post-accident testing, and reasonable suspicion testing. 

1: Random Drug Testing

Employees are randomly selected from the company-wide pool of employees for unannounced testing. It typically requires the selected employees to submit to immediate drug testing. 

2: Post-Accident 

Post-accident testing is required after an on-the-job incident that caused harm, injury, or death to determine if drug use could have been a contributing factor. 

3: Reasonable Suspicion 

Having a reasonable suspicion clause in your drug-free workplace policy is important. This offered employers some discretion in drug testing. If an employee is behaving unusually or aggressively, or they show signs of intoxication, they can be compelled to take a drug test. 

Drug Screening Labs 

At Soteria Screening Laboratories, it is our mission to provide personalized, effective, and efficient drug & alcohol testing. This includes compliance programs nationwide for companies and for individuals. Soteria Screening works with three laboratories, instead of one. This is to help expand the network of facilities able to provide our variety of services. 

We are a premier drug screening lab that understands that drug and alcohol testing programs ensure the safety and productivity of your workplace. If you need a drug test or drug and alcohol testing solutions, we can help. Reach out to us today. 

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