Drug testing is often a necessity for many businesses these days. Big businesses and small businesses alike can suffer from employees who abuse drugs. Each year in the United States, over fifty-five million drug tests are done. Only 3% of the Fortune 200 companies were drug testing applicants or employees in 1983. By 1991, the drug testing had increase among Fortune 200 companies to 97%.
Because of the decrease in productivity and increase in work-related accidents, drug testing has risen in the past decade. Drug testing can weed out employees who might not only cost the business more money for worker’s compensation coverage, but also can cause other workers to have to pay higher insurance premiums.
Some states have restrictions on drug testing. However, employers generally can execute drug testing if they have a written drug testing policy, requiring employees and potential employees to be drug free.
Some people may question whether it is the company’s business to know what someone does on their own personal time. But, drug testing is necessary because it effects the company in adverse ways. Employees who do drugs at home may come to work still under the influence and that is the company’s business. Drug testing is performed at the office and if the employee tests positive for drug use, that could impair their work performance or that of others in an adverse way. Employers do have a legal obligation to provide a safe workplace for their employees.
In one survey, employee who called a cocaine hotline had admitted that drugs had an effect on their work. Sixty-four percent said that it affected their job performance, 44% said they had sold drugs while at work, and another 18% said they had stolen from the company to get money to support their drug habit.
Some may not agree with companies doing drug testing on current or potential employees, but faced with the thought of potential lawsuits and rising cost of worker’s compensation premiums, companies will continue to require drug testing.
Disclaimer: Cliff Schaffer does not personally endorse or support any of the comments made within the writings of this article.