Drug Testing Your Employees

In some industries, such as commercial transportation, state and federal law requires employee drug testing.  But what about those industries where its not required but is useful? Here are some issues to think about when drug testing your employees:

  • Make sure that the employee knows that drug testing will be a condition of their employment.  This means that drug testing should be done before they begin work.  When completing the employment application, the employee should be informed about the need for drug/alcohol testing and that any offer of employment will be contingent upon the results of that testing.
  • The employee should also be advised that the company reserves the right to perform random drug testing during the term of employment and that they can be fired based upon the results of that drug/alcohol testing.
  • The employee should also understand that drug testing will also be required should they become injured in the work place.  Your workers' compensation insurance carrier will want to make sure that the reason for the injury is not related to the employee's intoxication.
  • The company must ensure absolute confidentiality in maintaining the drug testing records to protect the employee's right to privacy.
  • Should the company need to fire an employee based upon the result of a drug test, the company should ensure that the employee is provided with written notice that his or her failing results are the reason for termination.  This will allow the company to successfully oppose the employee's application for unemployment benefits or to defend against a claim for wrongful termination or discrimination should same become necessary.

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