The Pros and Cons of Drug Testing in the Workplace  DataCheck - Home

The Pros and Cons of Drug Testing in the Workplace

All employers want to maintain a safe and productive workplace. Employees who come to work under the influence of illegal drugs can put themselves and others in danger. They may also be more likely to miss work or commit crimes, which can have a negative impact on productivity and morale.

Many businesses have implemented workplace drug testing programs to identify employees who use illegal substances. The goal of testing is to maintain a safe, accident- and crime-free workplace and to ensure that employees come to work prepared to do their jobs effectively. If your business is thinking about instituting a drug testing policy, you need to consider the pros and cons.

Drug Testing Can Create a Safe Work Environment

The clearest reason to test employees for illegal drugs is to maintain a safe workplace. Employees who are under the influence of drugs are more likely to be involved in on-the-job accidents that can injure or endanger themselves and others. Some people are also more likely to behave in violent ways while under the influence of certain drugs. Identifying employees who use illegal substances can help employers prevent accidents and violence in the workplace.

Employees Who Use Drugs May Steal or Commit Fraud

A person with a drug addiction may steal money to support the habit. That means that fellow employees and the company could be victims. A workplace drug testing policy can reduce the risk of theft and fraud against other employees and the company.

Drug Testing Can Protect an Employer from Lawsuits and Worker’s Compensation Claims

An employee who believes that he or she was fired unjustly may file a lawsuit against the employer. If the person is fired because of illegal drug use, the employer can prove that the firing was justified and can be protected from a lawsuit.

An employer may be liable if an accident occurs and the company failed to maintain a safe work environment. Drug testing can help identify workers who pose a threat and protect the company from lawsuits.

If an employee is injured on the job, he or she can be entitled to worker’s compensation to cover medical costs and lost wages. However, an employee who tests positive for drugs is not entitled to worker’s compensation. That can save the company money.

Drug Testing Can Reduce Turnover

Employees who use drugs are often fired or quit. That means the company needs to find a new worker as a replacement, which costs the business money. Drug testing can help a company find and retain reliable employees and reduce turnover.

Random Drug Testing Can Be a Deterrent

If employees know they can be randomly drug tested at any time and may be disciplined and possibly fired, that can serve as an effective deterrent. They may think twice before using drugs if they know that it could have serious implications for their employment and livelihood.

Drug Testing Can Help Employees Get Treatment

While some employers immediately fire workers who test positive for drugs, others help them get into treatment. Drug testing can identify workers with substance abuse problems and provide them with help, rather than punishment. Many companies also provide resources for the families of workers with drug problems.

The Cost of Drug Testing May Be Prohibitive

There are some downsides to testing employees for drugs. One of the most important is the cost. The price for drug testing varies depending on the company doing the testing, the types of drugs that are tested for, and the method used. If a business has hundreds or thousands of employees, the cost of ongoing drug testing can be prohibitive.

Employees May View Drug Testing as a Violation of Their Privacy

Many employees consider drug testing to be a violation of their privacy. They believe that what they do on their own time is their business and that they should not be disciplined or fired as long as they do not show up for work under the influence. Drug testing may lower employee morale if workers feel their privacy is being violated.

Test Results May Be Inaccurate or Unclear

The results of drug testing are not always accurate. Even a small margin of error can affect a large number of employees if testing is implemented on a wide scale. Many drug tests cannot tell if someone is a habitual drug user or only used drugs once.

DataCheck Can Help Your Company with Employee Drug Testing

DataCheck can help your company design and implement an employee drug testing policy. We provide urine-based lab testing at more than 4,000 collection facilities located across the United States. We can also provide instant testing and testing with hair and saliva. To learn more about how we can help your company have a safe and more productive workforce through employee drug testing, contact DataCheck today.

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