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How Often Should You Drug Test in the Workplace

July 27th, 2018

Most new hires start a job understanding drug testing is likely part of the deal. Even if a company doesn’t conduct drug tests routinely, all employees are aware it can happen. As an employer, you keep this section in your handbook, but maybe you aren’t really sure how often you should drug test your team. The Drug and Alcohol Testing Industry Association (DATIA) provides suggestions for how often you should drug test in the workplace.


Before a New Employee Starts

Many companies with drug testing policies will order a test after an offer has been extended to a candidate to be completed before they start. This way, you know whether they are a drug user and can determine if you want to move forward with the offer or select another candidate.


On a Regular Basis

A periodic approach means your employees are warned and everyone is given a test. Employers opt for this approach, especially when annual physicals are a part of the job anyway. The pro of this approach is employees are generally more receptive because they have time to stop any potentially damaging behavior. The con is when your employees are warned, you can’t get an accurate read of who is using drugs.


Randomly Without Warning

Contrary to periodic testing, random is not a preferred method among employees, but it is helpful among employers. When a random drug test is scheduled, employees are not warned, and only certain employees are selected. To remove any potential for prejudice, a system scans through social security numbers to select who has to participate.


When a company lists the potential for random drug testing in the handbook or offer, it can serve as a way to keep your employees from using because there’s always the risk they will be selected.


Because You Suspect Something

This one is trickier because you must identify someone you believe is impaired due to drug use. Before accusing someone, you need to make sure management is trained to recognize a specific set of signs and symptoms that are also made known beforehand to employees to avoid any protests or lawsuits. Your handbook should list the signs that lead to a drug test so it can be enforced if such symptoms are noticed. Once the test is administered, the employee must not work while waiting for the results.


After a Positive Test

If an employee’s test does come back positive and they are placed on a probationary period, a test should be given when they return to ensure the drugs are out of their system and they’re no longer using.


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Staffing Resources is a top staffing agency in Atlanta, but our services aren’t limited to finding your next great employee. We’re also here to help with credit history, exit interviews, employment and education verification, and drug testing. Contact us today!

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