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Why Drug Test Applicants?

When considering a drug-testing program, the first question to ask is, “Am I required to drug test some or all of my employees?” If not, then ask, “Are there other reasons I should consider drug-testing?” Below are some of the most frequent reasons employers give for having a drug testing program:

  • Compliance with Federal regulations, e.g., the Department of Transportation, Department of Defense, Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Department of Energy.
  • Compliance with customer or contract requirements.
  • Compliance with insurance carrier requirements.
  • Match other employer efforts, and to minimize the chance of hiring employees who may be abuse alcohol or other drugs.
  • Reinforce the company position on “no drug use.”
  • Identify employees that abuse alcohol or other drugs and refer them for assistance.
  • Establish grounds for discipline or firing.
  • Improve workplace safety and lower accident rates (and Worker’s Comp claims)
  • Convince “casual users” that the cost of using is too high.
  • Deter “recreational” drug use that could lead to addiction.
  • Reduce the costs of alcohol and other drug abuse in the workplace.
  • Give recovering users another reason to stay sober (relapse prevention).
  • Federal and State Regulations

Besides contributing to a positive work environment, drug tests help employers improve turnover rates, boost productivity, decrease employee lost-workday time, reduce workers’ compensation claims, and promote a drug-free workplace.

The Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 requires any organization which receives a contract of at least $25,000 from any federal agency to certify that it will provide a drug-free workplace.

The Federal Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991 requires alcohol and drug testing of employees in a safety-sensitive position (aviation, motor carrier, railroad, mass transit). Employers covered by the law must provide alcohol and drug prevention programs

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There is no upside to hiring someone whom has chosen a lifestyle of drug abuse. The cost of a substance abuser can put you out of business.

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