Nowadays, many companies implement the periodic drug testing in the workplace of their employees to see whether they have been engaging in drug use. Many organizations find this as a useful and meaningful way to keep track of not only what their employees are doing in their free time, but also how they are representing their organization. This type of employer drug testing is also done to make sure that the employee is carrying out the job safely. Most private organizations are not required to drug test their employees, with a few exceptions. Most employers, however, do have the right to test for drug use, including a wide variety of possible substances. Other reasons as to why an employer might drug test employees is so that the employer can qualify for workers’ compensation discounts. Another reason might be to save money and maintain productivity, and to also avoid legal liability. It is a good idea for both the employer and employee to familiarize themselves with the drug testing process so that there is no confusion and possible legal issues.
When an employer decides to drug test employees, this testing must be carried out legitimately and maintain confidentiality. Employer drug testing can be required under a variety of conditions. One of these conditions takes place as a routine exam, whenever the employee is required to get a physical. Another situation where testing is becoming a growing trend is pre employment drug testing. Some places require a drug test to be taken in order for an employee to be qualified for a particular job. “Reasonable suspicion” drug tests are used extremely often, and generally take place after an employer has observed an employee for a certain amount of time, and suspects that based on their appearance, behavior or other factor that they could be taking drugs. The primary issue with this type of employer drug testing is that not all of the employees are being tested, which could create obstacles of fairness. Other situations when a person would be drug tested would be if there was an incident that took place on the job that might lead the employer to believe that the employee was under the influence.
There are many best practices that all employers should follow if they are to implement periodic drug testing in the workplace. The first practice would be to effectively communicate to the candidate or employee the company’s position of drugs within the workplace. This is the best way to prevent any bad situations from occurring, and is also a way for the employer to reassert their company mission. Another practice would be to keep all drug test results confidential. There is nothing more unprofessional than leaking information regarding someone’s personal life that should be kept secret. If this information is not kept confidential, it is very possible that the organization in question could face legal consequences.
As you can see, there are many reasons as to why an employer might decide to drug test employees. The best way to go about this would be in a professional manner after both the employer and employee have been fully educated on this process.