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Drug Testing: Should or Shouldn't

What is your current drug testing policy?

Many employers consider putting a drug policy in place to protect employees and the company. There are specific job types and industries that require drug screening such as DOT requirements for CDL holders, government jobs, hospitals and health care, construction, education, private security, and some manufacturing facilities. This week's newsletter is about providing background to drug testing and types of tests to consider for your company, if any.


Tip of the Week

Drug Testing Policies: Should or Shouldn't?

As an employer, maintaining a safe and productive work environment is paramount. One crucial aspect of achieving this goal is implementing drug testing policies. These policies are designed to ensure that employees are fit for duty, comply with legal regulations, and promote a drug-free workplace. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the importance of drug testing policies, various testing methods, legal considerations, and best practices for employers.

The Importance of Drug Testing Policies

Safety: One of the primary reasons for implementing drug testing policies is to ensure the safety of the workplace. Employees under the influence of drugs or alcohol pose a significant risk to themselves and their coworkers. Testing helps identify and address these risks promptly.

Productivity: Substance abuse can negatively impact an employee's performance, leading to decreased productivity, absenteeism, and a decline in the quality of work. Drug testing policies help identify and address these issues.

Legal Compliance: Many industries are subject to federal and state regulations that require drug testing, such as the Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations for transportation workers. The Department of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has outlined rules and guidelines that need to be followed for CDL holders and their employers.

Types of Drug Testing

Pre-Employment Testing: Conducted as part of the hiring process, this type of testing helps ensure that potential employees are drug-free before they join the organization. Employers must make the job offer contingent on passing a drug test.

Random Testing: Random drug testing involves selecting employees for testing without prior notice, typically using a computer-generated method. This approach deters substance abuse among employees.

Post-Accident Testing: Following workplace accidents or incidents, drug testing can help determine whether substance abuse played a role. It also aids in insurance claims and legal proceedings.

Reasonable Suspicion Testing: When employers have a reasonable belief that an employee is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they can conduct testing to confirm their suspicions.

Legal Considerations

Federal and State Laws: Employers must be aware of federal and state laws governing drug testing. For instance, the Drug-Free Workplace Act requires federal contractors and grantees to maintain a drug-free workplace.

Employee Privacy Rights: Balance the need for drug testing with employees' privacy rights. Ensure that drug testing policies are non-invasive and respectful of employee dignity.

ADA and Accommodations: The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities. Employers should consider how drug testing policies align with ADA requirements and make reasonable accommodations as needed.

Consent and Notice: Always obtain written consent from employees before conducting drug tests. Provide clear and comprehensive notice about the testing process and its consequences.

Best Practices for Employers

Develop Clear Policies: Create well-defined drug testing policies that outline the purpose, procedures, consequences, and employee rights. Communicate these policies to all employees.

Consistency: Apply drug testing policies consistently to all employees, regardless of their position or seniority within the organization.

Training: Train supervisors and managers to recognize signs of substance abuse and handle drug testing situations appropriately.

Confidentiality: Ensure that drug test results are kept confidential and only shared with authorized personnel.

Rehabilitation Programs: Offer support and resources to employees struggling with substance abuse, such as access to Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) or rehabilitation services.

Drug testing policies play a crucial role in maintaining a safe, productive, and compliant workplace. By understanding the different types of testing, legal considerations, and best practices, employers can create effective drug testing policies that benefit both their organizations and their employees. Striking the right balance between safety, privacy, and legality is key to success in this critical area of workplace management.


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The Compliance Corner

DOT Drug & Alcohol Testing Policies

The Department of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has outlined rules and guidelines that need to be followed for CDL holders and their employers.

Here are some areas to consider if your company employs CDL drivers and requires them to use their CDL to do their job.

Who is tested? All CDL drivers who operate commercial motor vehicles subject to CDL requirements on public roads in the U.S. This includes all full-time, part-time, intermittent, backup, and international drivers.

Required tests: pre-employment, post-accident, random, reasonable suspicion, return-to-duty, and follow-up tests.

Testing of: marijuana, cocaine, opiates, amphetamines and methamphetamines, and phencyclidine (PCP). And alcohol identifying concentration of .02 and greater. Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse The D&A Clearinghouse is an online database that gives employers and government agencies real-time access to information about CDL driver drug and alcohol program violations. The Clearinghouse also requires the following: Employers are required to query the Clearinghouse for current and prospective employees' drug and alcohol violations before permitting those employees to operate a CMV on public roads.

Employers are required to annually query the Clearinghouse for each driver they currently employ.


Partner Spotlight

Micah Aders - Aders Health Solutions

Drug & Alcohol Testing, Medical Cards, and more!

It is my pleasure to introduce you to Micah Aders! Micah is a trusted partner of Full Circle HR and provides many solutions for employers for drug testing, alcohol screening, medical cards, and more! Here is a little about Micah!

Micah and his wife, Ashley, live in Hooksett with their three boys. Ashley is a nurse but is currently focusing 100% of her time on raising their children. Micah’s job as a pilot for JetBlue Airways brought them to New Hampshire 10 years ago. Micah has always had an entrepreneurial spirit, as well as a passion for health and wellness. 18 months ago he partnered with Onsite Health Solutions to start offering corporate wellness programs. Those programs include onsite biometric screenings and a fully customizable online wellness platform. This year Aders Health Solutions expanded their services to offer DOT medical exams as well as drug and alcohol screening. They will travel to your business to offer these services. Employers can send their employees to the Aders Health Solutions office in Hooksett (located inside the Zoo Health Club)as well. Micah receives regular medical exams and participates in JetBlue’s drug and alcohol program, so he understands the stress that employees experience when they have to get an exam or be screened. His goal is to provide these services in a non-threatening way while making sure our roads and workplaces stay safe. In his free time, Micah enjoys introducing his boys to the outdoors by taking them hiking, fishing, and camping among other things.

Micah can be contacted at:

p | 603-854-1515

"The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty." Winston Churchill

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