A Guide to Introducing Professional Drug Testing at Work

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April 13, 2022
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Learn more about how to introduce drug testing in the workplace.

The importance of professional drug testing in the workplace cannot be overstated. As it deters drug users, the risks of accidents/injuries are significantly minimized. Losses or expenses because of unproductivity can also be avoided.

However, not all employees or candidates may agree with drug testing at work. It can be due to these reasons:

  • They fear that their privacy will be violated.
  • Some get anxious about the risk of getting “false-positive” results.
  • They feel it is unfair.
  • Some think of it as discriminatory.

Some states have no restrictions on workplace drug testing to date. Nevertheless, to avoid conflict and the risk of violating employee rights, company policies on drug screening should be made clear to employees right from the start. You may follow these guidelines to help you create a “drug-free workplace” without offending your workers.

Observe State Laws

As with all business matters, make sure you follow the laws of your state. Many states share similar rules, while some have particular conditions. To learn more about state-by-state workplace drug testing laws, you may refer to “Guide to State and Federal Drug-Testing Laws” written by Mark de Bernardo and Matthew Nieman.

Write a Concise Policy

Work with your legal advisor to write a brief but comprehensive policy. This entices candidates for hire to read every word, as opposed to lengthy documents. Again, you must abide by state laws concerning drug screening, especially for safety-sensitive job positions. Review your policy regularly to check if it works and if you need to amend it.

Conduct Pre-Employment Testing for All

Most states allow employers to conduct pre-employment drug screening for all job candidates, as long as state regulations on such tests are followed. However, take note of these terms:

  • Do not administer a drug test without a conditional employment offer accepted by the prospective hire.
  • Applicants with medical conditions or disabilities should not be discriminated against. They must be allowed to explain themselves if they test positive. Some of them are possibly under prescription drugs due to their condition.
  • It is also illegal for employers to single out particular candidates for drug testing based on their sex, race, color, religion, and national origin.

Consider Your Testing Options for Full-Time Employees

  • Random or Routine Drug Testing

You can conduct drug tests for employees as part of their annual physical exam. It can also be administered unannounced (randomly) to discourage drug use during their employment. If you opt for random testing, make sure that it is stated in the policy and understood by the employees.

  • “Reasonable Suspicion” Testing

This is done only as needed, particularly when a worker shows obvious signs of impairment linked to drug abuse. Such tests can also be done after major work-related accidents as part of the investigation. 

For drug testing services in Texas, reach out to Drug Screen Compliance. We are a drug testing company with state-of-the-art facilities in Odessa, Midland, Big Spring, San Angelo, Lubbock, and Fort Stockton.

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