US Drug Test Centers Blog

Why Have a Drug-Free Workplace Policy?

Posted: Jun 19 2019

By: Marquisha Blanche

It's common sense that you shouldn't show up to work under the influence, so why have a drug-free workplace policy at all? Employers should know that having a policy is crucial to maintaining a substance-free work environment for many reasons. Here are just a few.

Why You Need a Drug-Free Workplace Policy

1. It Specifies What's Expected of Employees, What Their Rights Are, and What Your Rights Are

When are employees tested? Will they be tested at random? How do you pick people at random?

Ae they tested with reasonable suspicion? On that note, what counts as reasonable suspicion? How about after a workplace accident takes place?

What substances will you test them for and how? Hair? Urine?

Do they have the right to refuse to take a test? If they do, what happens then?

There are so many questions that need to be answered, and these are just a few of them. Furthermore, one must consider the changing marijuana laws, which often differ by state. With more individuals allowed to consume marijuana not just medicinally but also recreationally, how will you handle employees who show up to work with THC in their system? Will you accept medical marijuana cards from employees? Remember, regardless of state laws, you still have the right to determine how you manage your own work environment when it comes to marijuana.

A drug-free workplace policy should answer all of these questions and more. It should make it crystal clear what employees are and are not allowed to do, and what you're allowed to do as their employer.

2. A Drug-Free Workplace Policy Helps Limit Liabilities

Having a reliable policy helps protect you from any potential legal ramifications of drug and alcohol screening in your workplace.

employees talking next to a window

Some people view employee drug testing as an invasion of privacy. A policy guarantees that employees — and potential employees — are well aware of the rules, expectations, and consequences of various actions.

It's also important for your policy to outline how specifically you select employees for random drug testing. Innate human bias makes it impossible to be 100% random, so having a third party like US Drug Test Centers select employees for you removes any risk on the employer's end.

3. A Policy Will Help Reduce Crime and On-the-Job Accidents

It's a well-known fact that drug and alcohol abuse in the workplace leads to a higher frequency of crime and accidents. Employees who are impaired may not be able to perform their jobs at full capacity and with accuracy, increasing the risk that they'll hurt themselves and possibly others. This is of particular concern for businesses that work with the public, especially companies that operate under the Department of Transportation.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, drug users, in general, are likelier to commit crimes, compared to non-drug users. Their crimes might be drug-related — such as the sale and possession of drugs — but they can also span to burglary, robbery, theft, and violence against others.

man punching 4. A Drug-Free Workplace Policy is Beneficial for Your Business's Revenue

Maximizing employee productivity and limiting your turnover rate is important for boosting revenue while minimizing overhead costs. A policy can help with this.

Sober employees are productive ones. Drug and alcohol impairment is known to significantly hamper an individual's ability to operate at their full potential. This ends up costing the employer significant money in lost wages.

A policy will also help reduce the number of employees you'll need to fire/lay off, as well as the number of employees who voluntarily quit. Substance abuse can be devastating for your employee turnover rate, and a workplace policy can remedy this.

There are countless important details to consider, so you shouldn't bear the responsibility of drafting a policy yourself. A poorly written policy that doesn't fully protect you can have scary — and long-lasting — consequences. US Drug Test Centers can help.

We'll work with you to draft the policy that will work best for you, your company, and your team, while keeping you compliant with state and federal laws.

Do You Have a Drug-Free Workplace Program?

In actuality, a clearly written policy is just one (very large) piece of the puzzle. It forms the foundation of a drug-free workplace program, which includes other factors, such as:

  • Training management, along with your designated employer representative (DER), to recognize the signs of impairment and learn how to respond.
  • Ordering tests and managing results.

US Drug Test Centers can assist you with these matters. We offer drug-free workplace training so you have key team members who can help you maintain a substance-free work environment.

two women working at a computerAdditionally, we'll give you access to our state-of-the-art, cloud-based software (at no additional charge), which allows you to manage every aspect of your drug-free workplace program. You can see status updates of pending results in real time; order tests from anywhere, for anywhere, 24/7, at any of our 20,000+ locations; and view all other activity.

Plus, when you work with US Drug Test Centers, you can rest assured your results are accurate. We prioritize working with SAMHSA-certified labs, and drug and alcohol tests are reviewed and verified by a medical review officer (MRO). We always strive to turn results around in a timely manner and even offer instant urine drug testing, with negative results returned the same day.

Contact us today to get started.

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