By law employers are allowed to drug test their employees, but they must exercise caution when doing so. First, they should have an established drug policy that is written and it must be in compliance with all state and federal regulations. Below are some additional things employers should bear in mind.
Why Drug Testing And Written Policies Are Needed
Drug testing employees provides a number of benefits, such as reduced workplace accidents, higher productivity, less sick leave, lower incidences of company theft, medical insurance and worker’s comp which is stabilized, and higher service quality overall. Those who test positive can also seek help. Employers have nothing to gain from employees that work under the influence of alcohol and drugs, and in fact it can cause irreversible harm to the company’s image. However, it is essential not just to have a drug policy, but one which is written.
The reason for this is because many states require it. However, aside from that, having a policy which is written down means that you and your employees will know how drug testing will be performed in your place of business. When drug policy documents are drafted, they should always be done under the watchful eye of your attorney. This is due to the fact that each state has its own variations, and you might even find it necessary to work with numerous lawyers if you operate a multi-state enterprise. U.S. drug testing laws can be a real obstacle; a good attorney will help you navigate your way through them.
What Is The Cost Of Drug Testing?
The specific cost for drug testing will vary. The reason for this is because there are a whole host of variables which must be factored when implementing a drug testing policy into the workplace. For instance, what type of substance test samples will you be using? This is one component that will influence what you’ll pay. Virtually every drug test performed today by employers involves the analysis of urine, but there are other options and methods available, such as testing the saliva or even hair.
The size of the organization will also influence the cost of implementing the drug testing system. The good news is that most vendors that sell equipment and products for drug testing will offer bulk discounts. This means, for instance, that a business that performs 12,000 drug tests per year will get a much lower cost per test than a smaller business that only performs 120 tests per year. Another fact that must be taken into consideration is whether or not the company is unionized. If it is, then implementing a drug testing system will require agreements and negotiations with the union.
Companies have the option of adhering to guidelines which already have been established for drug testing, or making their own. Making your own individual guidelines will give you greater leverage, but the advantage of using guidelines which have already been established is that most of them have been court upheld so they have a robust legal standing.