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Pre-Employment Drug Screening: What Employers Need to Know

Occupational Health

Pre employment drug test, drug test, drug testing

According to a recent SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) study, 57 percent of all employers are now using some type of pre-employment drug screening process.

Some employers, such as governmental agencies and government contractors, are required to drug test all employees prior to employment in accordance with the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, which is regulated by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). Other companies can choose for themselves whether to tests their applicants or not.

The idea of this type of pre-employment testing is to weed out potentially unqualified job candidates. Typically, drug testing is done right before a job offer is given or as a condition of the job offer. Either way, there are some things that employers need to know when implementing a drug and alcohol company policy.

Benefits of Pre-Employment Drug Screening

Drug testing offers several great benefits. For example, it is no secret that employees that are drug and/or alcohol impaired pose a higher risk for workplace accidents. Pre-employment drug testing can actually reduce workplace incidents. Other benefits include a reduction in absenteeism, an increase in productivity and employee morale, and a decrease in employee turnover. This all adds up to good news for your company.

Clear and Concise Drug Testing Policy

If your company is mandated by the DOT to perform pre-employment drug testing, it is mandatory that you follow the exact rules and regulations set forth by the Department of Transportation. If you are not mandated by the DOT, your business must still follow any and all state regulations. To ensure compliance and consistency, it is crucial to set a clear and concise drug and alcohol testing policy.

This policy should clearly state the expectations in regards to drug use in the workplace. Employees should have no doubt that drug use in the workplace or working while impaired will not be tolerated. The policy should state exactly how the drug policy will be carried out as it pertains to pre-hire testing, as well as any type of ongoing testing, such as random testing or post-accident testing.

Once set in place, the policy must be clearly communicated to all employees to make sure that there is no room for misunderstandings or confusion when it comes to the company’s drug policy and drug testing procedures.

Drug Testing Options

As an employer, you are free to set your own drug policy and determine which type of drug testing is best for your company, as long as it meets all DOT (if applicable) and state regulations. There are several types of drug testing options available, such as:

  • Urine drug tests
  • Saliva drug tests/mouth swabs
  • Blood drug tests
  • Breath drug tests
  • Hair drug tests
  • Sweat drug tests

You also can determine exactly what you want the drug screening to test for. The five-panel drug test is very common and screens for the most popular types of drug, including cocaine, opiates, THC, methamphetamines and phencyclidine (PCP). If you want to test for more types of drug, you can use an eight-panel, 10-panel or even 12-panel screening, which will test for barbiturates, benzodiazepines, methamphetamines and more. It is important that you review all your options and choose the type of drug test that best meets the needs of your company.

Don’t put your company at risk by hiring an employee who may prevent you from maintaining a drug-free workplace environment. Implementing a drug-screening policy is not as difficult as you may think, especially when you work with the experts at Origin. We can help simplify this process by providing a digital platform that allows your business to connect with labs and clinics around the country. As soon as the results are in, your office will know right away.

This can help to speed up the hiring process, while ensuring your company stays in compliance with all governmental agencies and in-house policies. Contact Origin to learn more today.

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