Have you ever wondered if your company has a drug testing policy and if it applies to current employees? Can they be drug tested while still working at your company? Generally speaking, no, current employees can’t be randomly tested for certain drugs. However, generally speaking, an employer can’t ban an employee from taking a certain medication without some reasonable suspicion that the worker is using illicit drugs.
There are several drug testing policies that affect new employees. Oftentimes, the reason drug testing is performed on new hires is for security and safety concerns. If a company has a high number of incidents of theft, or violence, then the loss prevention manager may want to make sure its employees are not substance users. Likewise, companies that provide insurance may have a policy that requires drug testing for new employees, so that they can’t claim illness or injury as a result of drug use. Another common reason for pre-employment drug testing is performance testing: current or previous drug users may not be fit for a specific job or position due to recent drug use.
Sometimes substance users will try to convince their new hires that they aren’t substance users just because they’re trying so hard to fit in. Oftentimes, however, those who try to convince their new colleagues that they’re not actually heavy drug users are actually lying. After all, how many of their friends and co-workers are actually honest about their drug use? If your company requires new hires to undergo drug screening, be sure to get the drug testing policy in writing: if it’s not stated in the policy, then you have the right to request a re-evaluation of the policy.
Other reasons for drug testing new employees include finding certain drug traces in the workplace. For example, if a new hire comes infrequently to visit his girlfriend, you may want to take that as a sign that he’s using drugs. In addition, if a new employee consistently takes large amounts of Adderall, only taking small amounts when his prescription runs out, you could also suspect that he’s getting high on the drug. Substance abuse can cause various health problems, so it’s important to know what kind of dangers new hires may run.
Before you decide whether or not to screen your new employees for drug use, you need to look carefully at your own drug testing policies. A great example of this is the urine drug testing policy. If you’ve ever seen a urine drug testing kit at a drug store, you know that the results can be messy and inconclusive. Even if someone does successfully get a urine test, the level of alcohol may not be high enough to set off the alarm. That means that a person who would have set off the alarm by taking a proper oral swab could still be innocent.
In addition to the considerations described above, another important consideration for drug testing for new hires is whether or not it’s currently against the law to do so. The courts have ruled that there are several circumstances in which employers may require drug testing, including pre-employment drug screening, drug testing during the hiring process, and random drug testing. However, these cases vary greatly. Employers are allowed to perform a drug test before hiring, but they are generally prohibited from doing it randomly or “off the cuff.” In short, if an employer is considering drug testing, it’s important to understand the legalities behind the procedure.