Drug Testing During Hiring
Many private and public employers are implementing Drug-Testing procedures into their pre-employment process. Many are also requiring drug testing for their employees already on staff. In fact, the most common form of drug testing is on-site Pre-employment Drug Testing. Drug testing has become an important safety issue for businesses. The majority of the Fortune 500 companies perform drug testing on their potential employees.
The purpose of this pre-employment drug testing is to weed out any individuals who may have a substance abuse problem, it is estimated that approximately 75% of individuals who are involved in workplace accidents are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Pre-employment Drug Testing also assists in reducing the amount of theft that takes place in the workplace. Those individuals who are under the influence of drugs are prone to stealing money and inventory in order to pay for their habit. At the same time, they are prone to missing work due to their habit and are often the cause for increased health care costs and worker's compensation costs. It is estimated that substance abusers use 16 times more health care resources than employees who are not addicted to drugs or alcohol. They are also six times more likely to file worker's compensation claims.
Other workplace issues that businesses seek to avoid by implementing a workplace drug policy include:
- Attitude problems and insubordination
- Decreased productivity
All of these issues have a negative impact on a workplace because it creates an environment that is not suitable for effectively and efficiently working.
A Pre-employment drug testing policy can best be implemented when the company establishes procedures and policies first. Pre-employment drug testing is the most common form of procedure and has consistently upheld by the courts as being a legal form of testing and for testing to be a condition of employment. It is also in the business's best interest to obtain consent and to clearly indicate to potential employees that the drug test is a requirement for employment.
For post-hiring drug testing, the company must have in place specific guidelines related to the discipline of the employee in the event of a positive test. This includes random testing as well as post accident testing, suspicion testing and testing that is legally required by specific agencies, such as the Department of Transportation. This type of testing is legally sensitive so it is vital that you ensure your policy is in line with law before enacting it.
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