Drug Free Workplace
A workplace should be a safe place where all employees can perform their duties with minimum risks. It is every employer’s duty to ensure a safe and healthful working condition for all employees. Employers need to establish a program that will ensure that all employees are not in any potential danger arising from injuries or accident due to alcohol and drug misuse. Often, employers perform alcohol and drug tests such as Pre-employment test, Reasonable Suspicion/Cause test, Random test, Return-to-duty test, Follow-up, and Post-Accident. Employees must take reasonable care for their own health and safety and that of others, and cooperate with the employer with respect to action taken by the employer to comply with company alcohol and drug policy regulations. By making sure that employees are properly educated on the personal and professional consequences of drug use and alcohol misuse, employers can maintain a drug-free workplace. Supervisors must be appropriately trained to identify signs and symptoms of drug and alcohol use.
US Drug Test Centers offers different drug free workplace programs. We can talk with your company to help put a drug free workplace program in place by creating a drug-free policy manual, setting up management with online drug free workplace training, enrolling all employees into random drug testing programs and more. We also give your company access to our cloud based software that allows you to schedule employee drug testing anywhere in the country 24/7!
It is considered a good practice for employers to remove employees from their act of duty immediate when they have failed the drug test or reported for services under the influence of alcohol or illicit drugs. Depending on the industry of the company, there are laws regarding the procedure and timeframe designed to guide the employers on how to perform drug and alcohol testing.
Implementing A Drug Testing Program in Your Workplace
Setting up a drug testing program in your company is serious business. It is really important to think through and discuss what your company is wanting to accomplish in a drug testing program and clearly put the final thoughts into a drug free workplace policy. The drug free workplace policy is a written document and is the foundation of your drug testing program. Once your company has made the all-important decision to implement a drug testing program and create a drug-free workplace, the next decision is who you will turn to in order to help you put that program into place. US Drug test Centers is your complete solution to implementing and maintaining drug testing services for small and large companies anywhere in the United States. All of our drug and alcohol testing programs have been carefully designed to be in compliance with Federal and State laws and to help reduce an employer’s exposure to liability due to a drug or alcohol-related incident.
A written drug-free workplace policy is the foundation of an organization’s drug-free workplace program. Every organization’s written policy should be unique and tailored to meet its specific needs; however, all effective policies have a few aspects in common.
First, a written policy should clearly state why the policy or drug-free workplace program is being implemented. Rationale can be as simple as a company being committed to protecting the safety, health and wellbeing of its employees and patrons and recognizing that abuse of alcohol and other drugs compromises this dedication.
The second core element of an effective written policy is a clear description of behaviors that are prohibited. At a minimum, this should include a statement that the “use, possession, transfer or sale of illegal drugs or controlled substances by employees is prohibited.”
The third fundamental element is a thorough explanation of the consequences for violating the policy. Consequences may include discipline up to and including termination and/or referral for assistance. Consequences should be consistent with other existing personnel policies and procedures and any applicable state laws.
Employers should note that sharing their policy with all company employees is an essential part of a drug-free workplace program. Many companies find it helpful to ask for feedback from employees during the initial policy development stage.
Realizing that the policy is the foundation of the drug testing program, a comprehensive program should include the following components:
- Drug-Free workplace Policy
- Supervisor Training
- Employee Education
- Employee Assistance
- Drug Testing
Once the policy is written or if you are editing or updating a drug-free workplace policy, the policy should be reviewed to make sure it answers the following questions:
- What is the purpose/goal of your policy?
- Who will be covered by your policy?
- When will your policy apply?
- What behavior will be prohibited?
- Will employees be required to notify you of drug-related convictions?
- Will your policy include searches?
- Will your program include drug testing?
- What will the consequences be if your policy is violated?
- Will there be Return-to-Work Agreements?
- What type of assistance will be available?
- How will employee confidentiality be protected?
- Who will be responsible for enforcing your policy?
- How will your policy be communicated to employees?
Implementing a comprehensive drug-free workplace program and policy will provide benefits to your company and your employees. The program will also serve to protect your company from exposure to liability in your drug testing program. Always follow the policy with 100% consistency to avoid lawsuits. There are different types of policies and it is important to determine the type of policy you need.
Drug & Alcohol Testing Solutions
We strongly advise all of our clients to implement a comprehensive drug testing and drug-free workplace program and policy for their business. With the proper drug and alcohol testing program in place, as an employer, you are protected from liability through the drug testing program.
Our drug and alcohol testing solutions cover a wide range of needs including:
Types Of Testing
- Instant Testing
- Point of Collection Testing
- Onsite Testing
- Mobile Drug Testing
- Job Fair Drug testing
- Random Drug Testing
- After-Hours and 24/7 testing
Tests We Can Perform
- Breath Alcohol Testing
- Urine Drug Testing
- Oral Fluid Drug Testing
- Hair Drug Testing
- Alcohol Testing – EtG/EtS
- DOT Testing
- US Coast Guard Required Testing
We offer extremely fast results for DOT and NON-DOT drug tests – 93% of our negative drug test results are reported the next business day. Instant testing for NON DOT programs are also available with same day negative results.
Implementing a drug-free workplace program could be one of the wisest business decisions your company will ever make. A drug-free workplace program will not only protect you from liability issues but will also ensure worker productivity and limit loss due to theft related to abuse.
US Drug test Centers is your complete solution for implementing and maintaining drug-free workplace programs for small and large companies anywhere in the United States. All of our drug-free workplace programs have been carefully designed to be in compliance with Federal and State laws and to help reduce an employer’s exposure to liability due to a drug or alcohol-related incident.
The Drug-Free Workplace Program we have developed consists of five main components:
- Written policy
- Supervisor training
- Employee education
- Drug and alcohol testing
- Employee assistance program
Written Workplace Policy / Compliance Manuals
When providing drug-free workplace policies for our clients, US Drug Testing goes above and beyond. For each policy, we create we also build a complete compliance manual. This comprehensive binder will give you everything you need to manage a comprehensive drug-free workplace program. For the non-DOT programs, the compliance manual includes comprehensive instructions, written custom policy, all forms needed, employee education materials, supervisor training materials, required forms, copy of all up to date regulations and if applicable filing for State Discount on Workers Compensation Discount.
The DOT Drug-Free Workplace Policy Manual includes comprehensive instructions, written custom policy, employee education materials, supervisor training materials, required forms, random program instructions, post-accident instructions, required posting and a copy of all up to date regulations. We will make sure your program is always compliant and can provide all these key components to any existing program. For new companies, we can establish and support your DOT-compliant drug and alcohol testing program right from the start.
Alcohol and drug use among employees can be an expensive problem for business and industry, with issues ranging from lost productivity, absenteeism, injuries, fatalities, theft and low employee morale, to an increase in health care, legal liabilities and workers' compensation costs. A written workplace policy needs to be developed in consultation with all levels of the company. An effective workplace policy is not generic; it needs to reﬂect the speciﬁc group(s) and requirements of the organization. US Drug Test Centers believes that it is very important to create a policy that works best for your company. We understand that each company has specific employee rules and regulations while still complying with state specific laws.
NON-DOT State Legal Drug Testing Programs
Non DOT Drug Free Policy consistent with a State Law program – Many States have enacted laws that create a State drug free workplace policy that is either voluntary or mandatory. The voluntary States typically offer an incentive for an employer following the voluntary law. This incentive is usually discount on workers compensation insurance. Some States have mandatory drug testing policy requirements if you will be conducting drug testing in that State. Whether you are following a voluntary State law or a mandatory law – you must follow the specific State requirements for the drug free workplace program and policy.
Non DOT Drug Free Policy – no State Law program applicable – Some States have no laws or very few laws regarding drug testing. It is critically important in these States that your drug testing program have a policy document to help you navigate through a legally defensible drug testing program. Check your State laws to be sure you are not doing anything that would violate the law. Not complying with State laws for your drug free workplace policy and drug testing program will create significant exposure to liability for your company.
The employer should work closely with employees to effectively create and manage the awareness across the organization regarding the risks and responsibilities related to alcohol and drug misuse in the service. We can provide your company with resources for your employees to learn more about drug use and who to contact if they have a substance abuse problem. The overall aim is to ensure all individuals gain an awareness of drugs and alcohol as hazards in the workplace.
Benefits of a Comprehensive Drug-Free Workplace Program and Policy
A few of the more immediate benefits of drug testing and having a drug-free workplace program in place for your company are fairly obvious.
Safety - Employees in drug-free environments have greater confidence that their workplaces are safe…Think about the construction contractor whose personal safety depends on his fellow workers being alert and focused at all times.
Productivity - Employees in drug-free environments are reassured that their workplaces are productive…Think about the high-tech worker who knows he won’t miss an important deadline because he’s covering for a colleague whose output lags due to drug abuse.
Security - Employees in drug-free workplaces appreciate that their employer’s policies make them more secure…Consider the electronics store sales associate who doesn’t worry that the cash register she shares will be short at the end of the day because a coworker steals to support a drug habit.
Well-Being - Employees in drug-free workplaces feel an enhanced sense of well-being…Think about the account-ant who worked hard to achieve recovery and finds that his supportive work environment plays an important role in his continued sobriety and success.
Morale - Employees in drug-free workplaces are pleased to be part of a team that gets the job done and enjoy the benefits of higher morale…Picture the nurse who arrives for work each day with the knowledge that the level of patient care won’t suffer due to a coworker’s abuse of alcohol or other drugs.
Health - Employees in drug-free environments take comfort in knowing that their workplace is healthy…Consider the restaurant server who knows his own health won’t be compromised because he has to work a double shift to cover for a colleague who regularly calls in sick due to a hangover.
Drug testing and having a drug-free workplace program will also help you:
- Avoid legal liability
- Ensure employees are drug-free
- Have more productive employees
- Reduce absenteeism and turnover
- Reduce employee theft
- Reduce workplace violence
- Reduce workplace accidents
- Reduce workers compensation claims and costs
Save Money - Two Big Reasons to Have a Written Drug Testing Policy
Unemployment Insurance Claims – if you terminate due to a positive drug test, the employee is likely to file an unemployment claim. This will cost you money. However, with a comprehensive drug-free workplace program and written policy that is compliant with State law; you can have the unemployment claim denied. When an employee is fired for testing positive or refusing to take a drug test, or when an employee quits rather than take a test, you will argue that the discharge was for misconduct or that the quit was without good cause; both of which are grounds for denial of unemployment benefits. The written drug testing policy will back you up with your argument.
Workers Compensation Claims – drug use causes accidents and lead to workers comp claims which can cost you a lot of money. The majority of States have what is called an intoxication defense where if you have a comprehensive drug-free workplace policy and your employee tests positive after an accident, it is very possible the workers comp claim can be denied. If the employer can prove you were intoxicated or that you were impaired at the time of the accident, then the employer has cause to deny your claim for workers' compensation benefits. As an example, in Oklahoma the law states - “The following shall not constitute a compensable injury under the Workers’ Compensation Code: an injury which occurs when an employee’s use of illegal drugs or chemicals or alcohol is the major cause of the injury or accident; the employee shall prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the use of drugs, chemicals or alcohol was not the major cause of the injury or accident.”
Evaluating the Need for Testing
The need for testing should be evaluated with regard to the nature of the jobs involved. With some jobs, the privacy issue may be determined to outweigh the need to test. As a protection to workers, positive test results should be subject to independent medical review. For those workers whose positive test results reflect problematic drug or alcohol use, participation in a counseling, treatment or self-management program should be encouraged and supported. Various national laws, customs or practices may require that employees who test positive are referred for treatment, assigned to other work or that other means to ensure their security of employment is used. Specific procedures should be developed which demonstrate a program's capacity to comply with existing national laws and regulations. Such regulations may include:
- legislation on workplace drug and alcohol testing,
- labor law
- Medical confidentiality laws.
- Drug and alcohol testing must be placed within the larger context of the moral and ethical issues of collective rights of society and enterprises, and of individual rights, as embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international labor standards.
- Other rights are also important: examples here are the right to choose one's own doctor, the right to representation if needed, the right to notification that testing will be carried out as part of a pre-employment screening program, and
- The right to information on test results.
It is assumed that the participants in any work situation have rights and responsibilities which may have been agreed upon. Drug and alcohol testing programs should fit within existing arrangements for ensuring the quality of work life, workers' rights, the safety and security of the workplace, and employers' rights and responsibilities (e.g. protection of the public interest).
Program organizers should be sensitive to the potential for any adverse consequences of testing (e.g. harassment, unwarranted invasion of privacy). Workers should have the right to make informed decisions about whether or not to comply with requests for testing. Safeguards should be installed to eliminate any potentially discriminating impact from testing. The testing program should be conducted in a non-discriminatory manner in compliance with the appropriate legislation and regulations. In those jurisdictions with a constitutional right to work, efforts should be made to enable the person to remain in the workforce.
Contact US Drug Test Centers today to start your company’s drug-free workplace program.
Maintaining DOT-Compliant Testing Programs
DOT Drug-Free Policy – companies regulated by the United States Department of Education are required to implement drug and alcohol testing program and maintain a written drug-free workplace policy. These programs are regulated by Federal laws and failure to comply can result in monetary fines and closure of your business. DOT clearly answers the question of “Do I need to have written policies that explain my program”? - Yes. The DOT Agencies and USCG require employers covered under their regulations to have policies in place that fully explain their drug and alcohol program. Not only must you have policies, but you must also make them available to employees covered under your DOT program.
In the event that an employee has a drug or alcohol violation, there is a process for returning them to work. All of our testing programs strictly adhere to 49 CFR Part 40, a DOT-wide regulation that outlines the process for conducting compliant testing and how to return employees to duty after a DOT drug and alcohol violation. 49 CFR Part 40 regulations apply to all DOT-required testing, no matter what industry you are in and what other industry-dependent rules and regulations apply to your testing program.Create Your Drug Free
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Contact US Drug Test Centers For All Your Drug Testing Needs
If you are a small business you really need to think about a comprehensive drug free workplace program and policy. When it comes to workplace substance abuse, small businesses have big disadvantages. They are less likely to have programs in place to combat the problem, yet they are more likely to be the “employer-of-choice” for illicit drug users. Individuals who can’t adhere to a drug-free workplace policy seek employment at firms that don’t have one, and the cost of just one error caused by an impaired employee can devastate a small company.
There is a huge return on investment for an employer to have a comprehensive drug free workplace. Not having one is kind of like not having fire insurance. It is a disaster waiting to happen.
US Drug Test Centers is available for expert assistance for the creation of a drug free workplace policy. Our compliance manuals put you entire program at your fingertips.
Want more information about drug testing and how US Drug Test Centers can help you? We are your national expert on drug testing programs. Give us a call to schedule your no-obligation, free consultation on drug testing and creating a drug-free workplace, learn how to get your business started as drug-free. We are here to help you with any or all of your drug testing, MRO services, drug testing software, TPA software, DOT drug and alcohol programs and drug-free workplace program needs: Call (XXX) XXX-XXXX or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.Contact Us Today!