Workplace Safety: What To Prepare When Testing Out Employees

Nowadays, it is no longer unusual for companies to require potential employees to undergo a drug test. The requirement has been permitted by the government as it helps each employer see just how suitable a candidate is for employment in their organization. Although the requirement depends largely on the company, it is mandated in certain Federal regulations like the U.S. Department of Transportation; particularly in employees who are in safety-sensitive positions.

As an employer, it is important that you know some certain guidelines to help prepare your potential employees for marijuana testing and for other drugs. Here are some of the things you need to know about drug tests as implemented by companies throughout the country.

Who pays for the test?

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has ruled that before a drug test is conducted, it is the employer who is responsible in paying for the fee. This means that you will have to be the one to pay for the hair drug test that your potential employees undergo. In the event that you hire an individual and you wish to have him take a test, you may still have him do so providing you pay for the time he spent while taking the test.

The reason behind this is that it is covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which is already a regulation by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). The time your employees spend on having the drug test taken is considered as part of the hours he has worked. Your employees are covered by this Act. If you wish to gain more information on this, you may get in touch with the DOL Wage and Hour District Office.

Do you get a copy of the drug test results?

The results from your employee’s drug test are generally considered as personal health information. However, there may be some restrictions on how readily this information can be shared to anyone else. Prior to taking the test, your employee will have to sign a release so that you can receive a copy of the results. Once the signature was placed, you may see the results of the test as you deem necessary.

If an employee tests positive, what do you do?

It is important to remember that drug testing is only a small part of a comprehensive drug-free workplace program. If you want to make sure your facility is completely free of drugs, you need to have a written policy outlining your expectations for drug use and what you expect from each employee you hire. You may also launch an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) so you can provide counseling along with some referrals to your employees who are currently dealing with problems related to drug addiction. The good news is that as an employer, you may get the assistance of the DOL to customize a drug-free workplace for your company.

Before you start implementing a drug test for potential and current employees in your company, it is best that you speak with a lawyer to get consultation on how best to go about with your employee drug testing program. This way, you can be protected by the law when any of your employees are found to test positive for drugs.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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