Legal Requirements for Conducting Random THC Drug Test
We all know that it is quite common for employers in the USA and even in other countries in Europe and different continents to conduct random drug testing and procedures so that they can check the efficiency and state of mind of employees.
In most cases, employees have to pass and submit a urine sample as the pre-employment drug test, and then to agree for additional random screenings throughout their employment with the company. The main idea is to ensure a drug-free work environment.
However, in most cases, the employerhas to think through about legal perspective of screenings, which means that there has to be some level of suspicion before making an employee submit a sample for drug testing.
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Since weed is legal in most states in the USA today, on the federal level, it is still illegal, which can complicate things for both employees and employers. It means that employers have to conduct testing and create a set of consequences for employees that are positive for cannabis use.
These consequences can be a loss of benefits, enrolling in a rehabilitation program, and the worst-case scenario termination of the contract. However, if an employer wants to conduct a random drug testing, he has to think through several steps and follow them so that everything could be legal:
A Written Policy
The first thing that you have to do as an employer is to write drug-free workplace policy that will provide your legal protection in case of screenings and random testing’s. The idea is to provide a copy of this particular document to each employee so that they can get familiar with the rules and regulations that you have inside your working place.
At the same time, you have to tell them to sign and state a copy of the document as a proof that they will commit to those rules and that they have read it, understood it before you can use it against them in case of intoxication or accident.
For instance, 14 states in the USA require employers to provide to both potential and current employees with written drug test policy as the way of prevention. There are also states that will require state approval before any system can be relevant and in the act.
The policy should contain these elements:
- Statement of purpose
- Scope of testing
- Definition of all terms used
- Alcohol and drug-free workplace policy
- Definition of illegal drugs
- Education and training required for those that are in a supervisory position
- The methods on how you will conduct a drug test
- List of substances you’re testing for
- The reporting procedure for test results
- Examiningthe confirmation process
- What happens if tests are positive
- Details on employees right to request a retest
- Reservation of personal rights
- Additional consequences for violating this particular policy
- Post accident testing procedures
- Consequences for employees that refuse to test
- Disciplinary actions
- Employee responsibilities
If you want to make this specific policy legal according to state and federal laws, you have to offer each potential employee a drug test before hiring them. Therefore, a prospective employee who tests positive will have canceled employment offer without thinking of qualification and how badly you need that particular position.
On the other hand, five states will allow you to conduct an only post-hire drug test, which means that you will not be able to screen them before hiring. That is the part of the pre-employment physical and positive test can lead to cancellation of a job without any additional problem.
Policy Statement and Workplace Signs
The policy has to feature statements that will explain to new employees and potential ones that they have to pass a mandatory drug screening before getting hired. That way, you will regulate this particular idea and process.
One state will require from you to notice potential employees that you will conduct drug screening before hiring, which means that you have to comply. Check your state’s laws so that you can see what you can do about it.
If you want to cover your business and conduct everything on a legal basis, you should implement signs that should state your ideas and regulations about the drug-free workplace.
When you decide to post it on entrance and other areas of your building and lobby, as well as time clock and break rooms, you will be able to have legal perspective for screening, but everything has to be written in policy we have mentioned above.
You should place these signs in areas where potential employees could see them and check whether everything is relevant. It is vital to creatinga conspicuous posting of these signs so that you can ensure that every current and potential employee is entirely aware of your drug testing procedures and policies.
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Substance Abuse Prevention
You should also have in mind that you should raise awareness of substance abuse and prevention materials such as flyers, pamphlets,and videos to your supervisors, employees on a regular basis so that you can educate them on your regulations and consequences of using.
According to experts, you should include a flyer that featuresthe fact that you want to achieve drug-free working environment and add some drug abuse facts from past employees so that they can see what will happen to them in case they are positive.
It is vital to make constant reminders, because that way you will protect your company on a legal basis, and non-employee can sue you due to contract termination that happened because he/she did not follow the policy you stated before.
If you want to make your employees comply and understand that you wish to make your working environment completely drug free, you should test at least 50% of employees each year through random drug tests.
Of course, everything depends on the number of people you employ, but you should screen part of them on a monthly basis or once a week, based on your preferences and capabilities.