Drug use in the United States has fluctuated over the years, yet one problem which still arises today is not having a work environment free of the dangers of substance abuse. The problem of drug use in the workplace is still a growing trend and many employers are standing up against the prevention of hiring and eliminating drug-using employees in the workplace through instant drug tests which can be a lifesaving asset for your business.
The Importance of Drug Tests
OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) statistics show about 75 percent of the current illicit drug users in the United States 18 and older are employed – that is an estimated 10 million people. Statistics also show that on a daily basis, at least 42,000 Americans come to work under the influence or even getting ‘high’ while on the job. With marijuana being the most commonly used drug and being legalized for recreational use in many parts of the country, we anticipate the number of drug users in the workplace to only increase unless business owners stand up against hiring any drug user or by cleaning up their current list of employees by enforcing a drug testing procedure in their business plan. The burden of drugs in the workplace will get worse if the employers do not take the extra measurement to protect their businesses to screen new and current employees. It is already estimated that businesses lose approximately $100 billion each year alone from problems arise from hiring a drug user.
The burden and costs to business owners of hiring a drug user in the workforce include:
- Higher missing work rates
- Higher accident rates
- Higher turnover
- Less quality and productivity work
Keep the Workplace Safe One Employee at a Time
Drug use can impair one’s judgment, give slow reaction times and is just plain out dangerous and a liability nightmare for some business owners. For some businesses, it can be more of a liability to have a drug user as one of their employees, such as factory worker in charge of an assembly line or an employee who is driving on the job making errands or deliveries, can be disastrous in terms of liability and safety. By incorporating a drug screening plan, your employees are looking forward to staying drug-free and you are helping your business avoid those small mistakes which can cause an accident and lead to serious injury or even death. It’s important for employees to be fully cognizant while on the job and that’s why we’ve incorporated an instant drug screening device to help you and your business.
Employees under the influence of drugs may struggle to stay on task, come in on time or even do the job right. At the end of the day your business will struggle should you be allowing employees who use drugs in your workforce. A common instant use drug test allows employers to target a strategy to exclude those employees who aren’t reaching their full potential due to illicit drug use, removing weak links and improving their company’s performance by eliminating the weak link. At the end of the day, it’s about your business and you need to protect your asset by only hiring viable workers who can show up on time, do the job as described and aren’t a liability for your company.
One of the more common issues is any small business is the amount of turnover rates. By prescreening your employees with an instant use drug test as part of a pre-employment procedure, you are opting in possibly saving your business thousands in extra labor costs in terms of the hiring process, training, and work placement. As big as a problem as turnover rates are for many small businesses, instant use of drug tests are a simple way to reduce the problem prior to any employment agreement between the possible employee and your company.
A Drug Test Made for Your Business
There is no denying that workplace drug testing offers a careful way to establish the truth of someone’s drug use and as a protection, many business owners have opted in using drug test procedures to screen their new hires and current list of employees. In situations where the employee has a responsibility for the safety and/or welfare of others, and the employer has a responsibility to ensure the employees’ competence is viable for the job, is a strong argument for workplace drug tests to be carried out for both liability and productivity of the business.
However, if a workplace drug test procedure will be carried out, there are some basic ethical principles which need to be taken place to avoid any violation of the rights of the employee.
These include, but are not limited to:
- Consent: Current and upcoming employees should know, ideally prior to taking the job, that drug abstinence is an expectation to fulfill the job at hand, and the workplace drug test is a planned occurrence in the business and mandatory requirement prior to being hired.
- Confidentiality: People’s privacy must be respected, including whether workplace drug testing has taken place as well as the result.
- Disability discrimination: An applicant or employee who is taking medication for a disability is protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Prescribed medications may turn up on drug tests, and some drugs that would otherwise be illegal (such as opiates) are legitimately prescribed for certain conditions of users with conditions which are prescribed by a doctor. If an applicant is turned down because of a positive drug test, and the applicant’s medication was legally prescribed for a disability, the company could be liable.
- Repeat tests should be conducted when a workplace drug test is positive, and your employee should be given the opportunity to explain a positive drug test result to avoid possible discrimination or false positive test.
- Provide resources on addiction counseling and/or rehab for those who are positive on a drug test.
Beyond the immediate financial impact of reduced quality, productivity, and strict liability caused by drug users in the workplace, there is also the long-term risk of losing market share due to a competitor or a loss in business reputation and credibility. With review sites such as Yelp, Google and Angie’s List to name a few, whatever happens even as a one-time occurrence may have a devastating effect on your business for years to come.
By taking the necessary step to protect your business today, you will reduce a great deal of risk by mandating a drug test on a regular occurrence in your HR department hiring process and current employee roaster. As an investment towards your business, the drug test itself is a minimal cost compared to employing a drug user.
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*Consult with your local state jurisdiction for further laws on state municipal codes regarding employee drug testing. This website or contents within are not listed as legal advice.