Should You Conduct Routine Employee Drug Tests?
Deciding whether or not to drug test your employees is often a big choice that employers have to make.
Employee drug tests have many pros and cons, and for some businesses, they may be essential. How do you know if drug testing in the workplace is for you?
We’re going to go over the pitfalls and benefits of employee drug testing so that you can make an informed decision for your business.
Keep reading to learn more.
Pro: Employee Health and Safety
A safe workplace is essential for any business. Drug use may impair your employees, making them dangers to themselves and others.
Industries that work with large machinery may want to drug test to avoid accidents.
Having healthy employees is also better for everyone. Employees who use drugs may need an extra incentive to get clean through the workplace.
Con: Employee Morale
No one particularly enjoys getting drug tested, and if you operate in a legal state (or a state that allowed marijuana), your employees may bristle at the idea of drug testing. This is especially true if it’s random.
Some potential employees may shy away from businesses that mention drug testing to start with regardless of their own use. They may see it as an invasion of privacy and look unfavorably at the employer.
Some employees also use medication that will flag on a test, and being unable to use that medication (marijuana or otherwise) will lower their morale.
Pro: Legal Liability
Having a drug-free workplace may reduce the legal liability of the employer.
If there is an accident in the workplace, the employer is legally responsible for it. Having employees go through drug screenings helps to remove one potential threat.
You protect yourself by testing your employees.
The hiring process needs to be quick and efficient. By adding drug testing, you’re slowing down the process of getting a potential employee from the hiring stage to the working stage.
This may not be an issue for those who aren’t in a hurry, but it extends the time that you need and in the meantime, an employee may find another position elsewhere.
Drug testing is costly for the employer. It may cost upwards of $30 per employee to get a comprehensive drug test (see this 10 panel drug screen guide for information). Many small businesses can not support this cost.
That said, it will reduce workers’ compensation costs if the employee who is hurt in an accident was using drugs at the time.
Overall, this is a complicated area when considering the pros and cons. The long-term costs may be reduced in the case of an accident, but the upfront cost is quite high.
Are Employee Drug Tests Right for You?
Using employee drug tests for your business might be the right choice depending on your unique situation.
Making the right choice for your company is important, and you should consider all possible factors before making your final decision.
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