Pre-employment drug testing is a crucial part of any business's recruitment process. Not only does it help reduce costs from drug use, but it can also provide employees with a second chance and is legal in most states. Here are six reasons why companies should conduct this screening before hiring their employees:
There are many economic costs associated with substance abuse. In addition to health care costs, they include loss of life, injury, and diminished productivity. These costs are borne by everyone: consumers, employers, and taxpayers. These costs include higher prices and health insurance premiums and public expenditures on prevention and treatment programs, foster care, and homeless shelters. Substance abuse deprives society of the resources it needs to grow and prosper. In the United States alone, the direct costs associated with substance abuse disorders total nearly $17.8 billion annually. These costs are associated with emergency room visits and hospital inpatient care. The second-largest cost drivers are charitable giving and State and Federal spending. These costs, however, are not necessarily equal.
Drug testing at the workplace helps companies retain the highest quality employees. Studies have shown that employees who have used drugs at work tend to change jobs several times a year. Employers can reduce turnover by about a third by requiring pre-employment drug testing. In addition to saving time and money, this practice helps keep the quality of work high.
Studies have shown that turnover costs up to 150% of an exempt employee's salary. However, the lowest turnover rate is $3,500, according to the SHRM. These costs are associated with recruitment, training, and lost productivity. For most companies, the reasons for drug testing reduces the risk of hiring ineffective employees and increases the lifespan of the workforce.
Some companies offer a second chance to employees after a pre-employment drug test shows a positive result. This type of policy is known as a "second chance agreement" or a "last chance agreement." It allows the employee to keep their job subject to certain conditions. These conditions vary based on the circumstances. For example, an employee using heroin may need a different treatment than a marijuana user.
Second-chance policies are also financially smart for employers. Replacing a high-quality employee can run 25 to 200% of the employee's annual salary. That's before losses, such as lost knowledge, continuity, and productivity. Moreover, the policy reduces healthcare costs by reducing missed work and employee turnover. Moreover, companies can expect employees to be more loyal to the company if they know they'll be supported during their recovery.
Many states allow for pre-employment drug testing if there is a reasonable suspicion of drug use. The issue is reasonable suspicion is a slippery standard. Generally, employers must present evidence to support their suspicions. Many states also require workplace counseling and outreach programs before drug tests are conducted.
In Colorado and Illinois, employers can require drug testing as a condition of employment. In Oregon, employers must include the requirement in an employee's contract. However, employers may only do it if the position is safety-sensitive, and employers cannot use a positive drug test as an excuse to deny hiring someone.
Pre-employment drug tests are performed to determine whether an applicant or employee has used illicit drugs. These tests can be done pre-employment, "on reasonable suspicion," "for cause," or as a routine requirement. The most common tests are for marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, and PCP, although employers can test for many other substances as well. Urinalysis is the only method approved for federal testing, so it is often used for regulated employees. The main purpose of pre-employment workplace drug testing is to ensure that employers do not hire a drug-addicted employee. Law requires testing so employers can verify that a prospective employee is drug-free before making an offer. Random drug testing may also be done if an employer suspects an applicant is abusing substances or using alcohol. Random drug testing effectively ensures that no one is under the influence while working and creates a safe environment for everyone.
Pre-employment drug testing is an integral part of the hiring process. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), employers are legally permitted to test workers for drugs and alcohol as part of the hiring process. Pre-employment drug testing is commonly used to determine whether a candidate has a history of substance abuse. The process is often required for federal contracts. Pre-employment drug testing is common in many sectors of the workforce, including the health care, child care, and petrochemical industries. Some companies use pre-employment drug tests as part of the general background-screening process, while others rank candidate sobriety among their top factors.