What is a drug-free workplace and can any company drug and alcohol test?
What is a drug-free workplace?
A drug-free workplace is a workplace free of the health, safety and productivity hazards caused by employees abuse of alcohol or drugs. To achieve a drug-free workplace, many employers develop drug-free workplace programs. A comprehensive drug-free workplace program generally includes five components—a drug-free workplace policy, supervisor training, employee education, employee assistance and drug testing. Although employers may choose not to include all five components, it is recommended that all be explored when developing a drug-free workplace program. Research shows that more components may lead to a more effective program. However, because every business is unique, there is no one right way to establish a drug-free workplace program.
Can an employer drug test ? What are the state laws?
Generally, employers have a fair amount of latitude in handling drug testing as they see fit, unless their organization is subject to certain Federal laws (such as U.S. Department of Transportation drug-testing regulations). However, there may be state laws that impact how drug testing is implemented. For more information, visit the Working Partners website’s listing of state laws that impact drug-free workplace issues or contact your State Department of Labor.
DOL strongly recommends that before any drug-testing program is implemented, an employer have a written policy that is shared with all employees and clearly outlines why drug-testing is being implemented, prohibited behaviors and the consequences for violating the policy. DOL also recommends that if drug testing is used, it be only one component of a comprehensive program that also includes training for supervisors on signs and symptoms of substance abuse, education for employees about the dangers of substance abuse and some form of assistance or support for employees who may have problems with alcohol and other drugs.