Drug testing in the workplace can be a controversial topic. This is especially true in light of the changing medicinal and recreational marijuana laws in certain states. However, drug abuse on company time poses many risks to you and your employees. The fact remains that a drug-free workplace program has many benefits that far outweigh the risks of not having one.
Instituting a drug-free workplace is key to protecting your company and your employees. Drug screening is an effective and proactive solution to mitigating risks— such as accidents or injuries that could be related to on-the-job impairment or intoxication.
There are four basic areas of drug testing in the workplace. They are pre-employment drug testing, random drug testing, post-accident testing, and reasonable suspicion testing. Having at least one of these checkpoints in place will help keep your company, its reputation, and your employees safer.
Onboarding a new employee involves an investment of time and money. Pre-employment testing, as a contingency to a final offer, will save you both. It is easier and more cost-effective to cut ties with a job candidate than with an integrated and trained employee. Randomized, post-accident, and reasonable suspicion testing protect the company and hold your current employees accountable.
Reasonable Drug Abuse Suspicion: Drug And Alcohol Testing At Work
Many organizations have reasonable suspicion of drug testing as a part of their official written drug policy. This is especially important if the industry is related to transportation, safety, or the medical field, and is often required by law. Reasonable suspicion testing also gives the employer discretion to test if there have been reports of unusual or concerning behavior. If reasonable suspicion testing is performed properly and conducted through the proper channels, companies are usually legally clear to discipline or terminate the employee.
If you suspect that an employee is involved in drug abuse, there are 4 steps you should take to ensure you are being thorough and compliant with state laws. Since laws vary by state, if you have any concerns regarding drug and alcohol testing at work, contact an employment attorney to answer your questions.
1. Ensure Your Policy Is Clear
The most important party of any drug-free workplace program is the written policy. It should be clear and concise so everyone can understand the expectations. It should also be easily accessible for all employees to review. A general policy statement is not enough to permit testing. Your policy must specify that you have the right to conduct reasonable suspicion testing.
2. Document Everything
Before you confront the suspected employee with a drug test, do your due diligence. This includes documenting any complaints, concerns, or erratic and unusual behavior patterns. Information provided by coworkers should be included. Be cognizant of the fact that many employees want to remain anonymous when reporting coworkers. There should also be documentation from at least two direct supervisors and/or management. Note details including noticeable odors, slurring of speech, agitation, volatility, excessive tiredness, and extreme lack of motivation.
3. Meeting With Suspected Employee
The next step in the process before the actual drug test is a meeting with the employee. Aside from the employee, the other parties involved should include the direct supervisor and a third party as a witness. This is usually HR personnel. The employee should be confronted with the information that’s been gathered and referred to the written drug testing policy.
4. Drug Testing
If the suspected employee is willing to submit to a drug test, they should be sent immediately to a testing center or laboratory. If they refuse, you are legally supported in termination as per your policy.
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.