Employee drug testing and background checks are common practices carried out by many different companies, both large and small, and in a wide variety of industries. This is because drug testing helps them promote a safer and healthier workplace environment. However, most of the companies carry out drug use screening tests only during the hiring process, which might not be the best way to go. Substance abuse can happen at any time, and when used at the workplace, it will affect attendance, productivity, and safety. Therefore, this is when you should perform drug tests on your employees if you want to ensure a safe and healthy workplace environment.
During the Hiring Process
As we mentioned above, one of the most common situations in which employers perform drug tests is during the hiring process. By doing so, companies can make sure they hire candidates that do not abuse illegal or controlled substances or candidates that haven’t done so in a long time. Therefore, employers are taking effective measures that guarantee a safe and healthy work environment even before a contract has been signed, reinforcing the values of the company. However, this has become such a common practice, that many companies only focus on pre-hiring drug tests, leaving other situations out of the table.
When You Have Reasonable Suspicion
Another common scenario we are likely to find as HR managers or business owners is having a reasonable suspicion of one of our employees using or abusing substances before or during their shifts. There are many cues we can identify in order to have a reasonable suspicion, including an employee’s appearance, behavior, smell, and speech. If we notice anything strange and we suspect an employer might be using or abusing alcohol or drugs, we should require a drug-use test and act accordingly.
During Random Test Screenings
One of the problems with only performing drug tests on our employees during the hiring process is that it can make it difficult for us to ensure our staff members remain drug and alcohol-free throughout their employment. One way to solve this issue is by developing a random drug testing process in which every employee has the same chances of being selected and screened for alcohol and drug use. We can even determine small windows of time to complete the tests if we want to get reliable results.
After a Workplace Accident
Last but not least, another scenario in which we might want to perform drug tests on our employees is when there is a workplace accident. However, we must remember that, according to recent provisions by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, employers can only require drug use screenings from the employees involved in the accident if we have reasonable suspicion of alcohol or drug use being involved in the accident. Without having reasonable suspicion, we are not allowed to perform a drug test.