Legal Drug Testing In the Workplace
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Legal Drug Testing in the Workplace

Drug testing is becoming very common in the workplace.  When considering implementing a drug testing policy in your business, you need to be certain to understand the laws regarding whether or not Drug Testing is allowed in your state as well as if random drug testing is legal. 

Before proceeding with a drug testing policy, you need to first discuss the issue with your State Department of Labor.  Even if drug testing is allowed, businesses are often limited in how they can responds to a positive drug test.

Another area to consider is the Americans with Disabilities Act.  This makes it clear that individuals who are considered alcoholics are protected under this act.  This also states that employers cannot refuse to hire a person based on his or her alcoholism.  Additionally, an alcoholic employee cannot be punished more severely for an act at work than a non-alcoholic employee would be punished for the same act.

Another issue that employers have to consider when implementing a drug testing policy is whether or not it is an invasion of privacy.  Some companies have required that potential employees disclose whether or not they are on prescription medication.  In some instances, this is not considered an invasion of privacy if the information is necessary to ensure the accuracy of their drug test.  On the other hand, it has been seen as an invasion of privacy if the employer requires the disclosure of prescription drug use as part of a medical exam for applicants as well as those who may be promoted.

The goal of a drug-free workplace has been the goal of many companies for several years now.  Each year the number of companies who drug test increase, particularly due to the fact that approximately 75% of workplace accidents are related to drug and alcohol use.  Workplace drug testing has become so popular that many states have made cheating on a drug test a crime that is punishable by law.  This is in an effort to reduce the number of employees or potential employees who purchase detox items or specialized shampoos to avoid testing positive for a drug test after use.

The secret to successfully implement a workplace drug testing policy, it is important to adhere to the state's laws.  Your drug testing policy should be accompanied by a written policy and ensure it is understood by employees and managers.  This should be performed in an effort to ensure that your drug testing policy is legal under the state's laws.


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