Many companies use pre-employment drug screening as part of the smart hiring process. Pre-employment drug tests are usually administered within 24 hours of the contingent offer of employment and can help a company ensure they are hiring someone who does not abuse substances.
What about after a candidate successfully becomes an employee? How often you can drug test your employees depends on multiple variables such as the state your business is in and whether there is reasonable cause to test.
Randomly - State Laws VaryFederally, there is no law mandating how often an employer can drug test; these laws are left to individual states to determine. For example, there is no drug testing statute in Texas (as of the publishing of this blog post), so an employer in Texas can elect to use random drug screening as a way to deter their workforce from using drugs. It is always important to note that while intermittent screening is lawful in Texas and a proven way to reduce drug use in the workforce, random screening should be random to avoid discrimination charges against the company.
Some states do limit the frequency of testing or specify what procedures must be followed when testing employees. Alaska allows testing of employees, including random testing, so long as the employees are given a 30-day notice, with a written policy of testing given to employees. Other states such as Connecticut do not allow random testing but do allow an employer to require testing if there is a reasonable suspicion of substance abuse.
If You Have Reasonable SuspicionReasonable suspicion means that the employee has done something that gives an employers cause to drug test. This could be highly erratic behavior that starts out of the blue, or an employee becoming unresponsive during work. Always have clear guidelines to determine what is reasonable suspicion at your workplace.
After An AccidentIf an accident causing injury to a person or property damage occurs, it is generally reasonable to conduct a drug test to determine whether substance use played a part in the occurrence of the accident.
No matter how often you test for drugs, it is important to have uniform policies and procedures in place. Consider implementing a workplace drug screening policy with clearly documented guidelines for your employees that defines how frequently and under what circumstances a drug test will be performed to ensure that you are not inadvertently discriminating.
If you are ready to start an employee drug screening program, or need to learn more about drug screening tests for employment contact CNet Technologies today.