When Is Drug Testing Usually Conducted in the Workplace?
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? Even better yet, when should drug testing be performed?
Pre-Employment Drug Testing
Most employers require job applicants to pass a drug test before employment, transfer to a more safety-sensitive position or after they receive a promotion. This is a standard test that all employees undergo, regardless of their position within the company.
Post Accident Drug Testing
When an accident involves the death or serious injury of any employee, post-accident drug testing may be warranted to rule out the use of drugs or alcohol on the job. Employees who are using drugs and/or alcohol are up to 4 times as likely to be involved in a workplace accident.
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 return to work.
Random Drug Testing
Drug testing may be performed unannounced on an ongoing basis on certain employees picked using a method in which each employee has an equal chance of being selected. This is sometimes done using a software program or via third party administrator.
There are many different reasons why an employer may need to drug test an employee with just a few of the reasons listed above. The best thing an employer can do is to have a clear drug testing policy in place to ensure fairness when testing.