Many companies have already established their own drug-free workplace programs to ensure the health and safety of all their employees, which would help them achieve or maintain the high quality of their products and services. A common question, though, concerns the timing of doing drug tests on employees.

So, when really is drug testing usually done?

Pre-employment Drug Testing. Most employers require job applicants to pass a drug test before employment, transfer to a more safety-sensitive position, or promotion.

Post-accident Drug Testing. When an accident involves the death or serious injury of any employee, a post-accident drug testing may be warranted.

Drug Testing due to Reasonable Suspicion. A trained officer or personnel may call for drug testing of a particular employee when there is reasonable suspicion that he or she is under the influence of drugs. The company must take extra caution when conducting drug tests due to reasonable suspicion, though, since an employee may feel that he or she is being unfairly singled out and may file a case on discrimination.

Return to Duty Drug Testing. When an employee has earlier tested positive and/or suspended due to drug abuse or for drug rehabilitation, the company conducts follow-up tests to ensure that he or she is fit to work.

Random Drug Testing. Drug testing may be done unannounced on an ongoing basis on certain employees picked using a method in which each employee has an equal chance of being selected.

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