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5 important things you need to know about employment drug testing

employment drug testing
As a precaution many businesses require future employees to adhere to drug testing before or even during employment. Such a measure could not only avoid legal problems for the company but also safeguard their interests, failing to do this could result in legal issues or worksite risks, so it’s crucial for companies to ask for pre-employment drug testing or any other similar measures. A quick testing or background check is crucial to ensure companies hire the correct people.   

What is employment drug testing? 

With the influx of recreational drugs on the market and the induction of new prescription drugs readily available to just about anyone, drug testing is becoming an import part of the employment equation. Many companies are resorting to drug testing before or during employment and can be administered even after an employee returns from leave whether it be vacation, paid sick leave or PTO. Employment drug testing can reveal whether an employee is abusing prescription or over-the- counter medication or any other illicit substances. 

Employee drug testing is the process of analyzing a potential or current employee’s urine, hair, saliva, or blood to determine if they have been using drugs. The most common type of drug test is the urine drug test, which can detect marijuana, cocaine, opiates, and amphetamines.

What drugs are tested? 

Generally, the employment drug testing system will check for phencyclidine, opiates, cocaine, THC or methamphetamines. Testing could reveal whether a person has any traces of compound of these illegal substances in their body. Before employment it is important for a a company to know if their potential/current employee either uses or used these illicit substances recently. The employment drug testing will rely on various specimen types. These can range from saliva to blood, hair, urine and many others. These substances can be found anywhere from 5 to 10 days (about 1 and a half weeks) in urine, but hair drug tests are more efficient since these illicit substances can stay up to 90 days (about 3 months) in human hair or blood and is proven to be very accurate. 


Is employment drug testing legal? 

Employers have the right to drug test their employees before and after they are hired. While the Supreme Court admits drug tests are an invasion of privacy, they decided in the case of Skinner v. Railway Labor Executives’ Assn., 489 U.S. 602 (1989) these tests are necessary to protect the safety of others. While many jobs that perform drug tests are federal positions, state and private employers have the same right to drug test for any job they see fit. (https://www.joblist.com/guides/drug-testing-and-employment-what-types-of-jobs-drug-test)The legality of employment drug testing will vary from state to state. In some cases, workplace drug testing has become routine. If unsure whether these tests are legal or applicable, employees could seek legal advice about their rights as an employee. Before testing companies are encouraged to inform applicants of their hiring procedures and testing policies and ensure that everyone, even current employees, is aware of these processes which must be processed by a certified laboratory.   

Why are these tests important for employers? 

According to recent research, drug use can lead to up to five more injuries per month. In addition, around 50% of the worker's compensation claims have some sort of workplace substance abuse connection which could cost companies millions in retribution and legal fees. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) states there are no requirements for most private companies to drug test their employees, except for positions related to safety and security. These positions that deal with sensitive and private information demand employees who are not under the influence of illegal substances. Furthermore, jobs in charge of keeping the public safe should adhere to strict standards of sobriety.

While employment drug testing is not legal everywhere, it is still one of the best ways to prevent any possible workplace hazards that might arise. Working closely with a reliable company that offers employment drug testing is advisable, since it can help your business avoid many legal or health issues. Employers and employees have the right under the law to ensure that all tests are done correctly, to ensure all parties are protected, prevention after all is better cured.