Employee drug testing in the workplace is our core business!Avitar offers proven employee drug testing solutions to enable a drug free workplace.
Employee drug testing is unfortunately one of the most controversial and troublesome issues facing American employers. Rising employee turnover, absenteeism, tardiness, on-the-job accidents, health benefit utilization and costs, workers compensation claims, inventory shrinkage and employee theft, lowered productivity, and workplace violence are problems directly attributable to substance abuse. Employer concern and action are equally warranted these problems cost to the U.S. workplace well over $110 billion each and every year.
View more workplace drug testing industry facts.
To address the illicit drug problem, employers in the U.S. have implemented substance abuse policies and instituted drug and alcohol testing programs to screen out substance-abusing applicants and to detect substance abusers on the job. Employee drug testing programs help protect the health and safety of all employees, and mitigate the costs associated with having drug abusers on the payroll. They provide early identification, and the ability to refer employees with substance abuse problems for treatment. The integration of drug screening procedures with appropriate drug education and treatment programs is proving not only to be an effective way of managing substance abuse, but also a valuable tool in achieving positive employee relations, delivering significant cost savings, and providing corporations with a competitive advantage.
The Americans With Disabilities Act allows employers to conduct testing for substance abuse or the use of illegal drugs, and some states provide voluntary or legislated guidelines for drug and alcohol testing. Regulations in most states deny unemployment and/or workers compensation benefits for employees that test positive for illicit drug use (view on-site state regulations). And, most workers compensation insurers allow insurance premium discounts for corporations that have instituted employee drug testing programs.
In conducting drug testing, employers need to be cognizant of the legal liabilities brought by lawsuits originated by (1) un-hired applicants or employees who refuse to take the test or who are discharged or disciplined for positive test results or (2) clients, fellow employees, and members of the general public who may be injured or affected by a drug-using employee. Settlements in the former category are usually in the low thousands of dollars, while those in the latter are often in the millions.
Courts are holding more and more companies responsible for mistakes made by poorly trained personnel operating without well-conceived guidelines. As courts have declared, there is enormous liability when a company does nothing or does the wrong thing in the face of the clear evidence of drug and/or alcohol abuse throughout the workplaces of our country.
Many states have drug testing statues and/or recommended guidelines that outline what an employer can and cannot do. It is important that employers determine what laws, if any, exist in the states where they conduct business to ensure that the testing rules and procedures established are in compliance with state regulations.
(Above excerpt taken from U.S. Department of Justice website, 2004)
Additional items to consider relative to employee drug testing:
(Opens in a new window) requires federal government contractors and grantees to certify that they are providing a drug-free workplace. The Act applies to all contracts or grants that equal or exceed $25,000.
- If you do not test, you may find yourself flooded with applications of workers who were afraid to apply for jobs elsewhere because of other employers’ use of pre-employment testing.
- The majority of current employees generally do not object to the screening of applicants or employees.
- Many employers test all employees on a random basis, and all applicants, while some employers limit testing to those employees whose drug use may endanger themselves, co-workers, or the general public, or for instances of “reasonable suspicion”, “ return-to-duty”, or “post-accident”. NOTE: Limiting testing only to employees with previous drug-related convictions or to those within certain geographic or demographic categories may be contrary to federal, state, and local anti-discrimination laws prohibiting arbitrary treatment of persons within protected classes.
A comprehensive employee drug testing program incorporated the following:
- A Written Drugs-0f-Abuse Policy (pdf)
- A Documented Drug Testing Program
- An Employee Awareness, Communication, and Awareness Program
- Managerial / Supervisor Training
- Test Administrator Training & Certification
Drug Testing & Alcohol Testing Devices
- Confirmatory Testing & MRO Services and Processes
- Employer Actions / Sanctions
- Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
- Drug Testing Program Monitoring, Reporting, & Evaluation, including ROI