Employee Drug Testing: 7 Things You Need to Know

Employee Drug Testing

Employee drug testing is an important issue that employers need to take seriously. This article will talk about the seven things you need to know before you make drug tests for your employees. Companies can use drug tests to see if their employees are taking good care of themselves and each other. We need to make sure that the drug tests are accurate or else they might not work.

What is Employee Drug Testing?

Employee drug testing is a procedure that takes place to screen employees for the presence of drugs in their system. This may include pre-employment, post-accident, or because an employee has violated certain rules at work. Some employers use these drug tests as part of random screenings even when there is no suspected wrongdoing on behalf of the employee.

Why Do Companies Conduct Drug Tests?

Employee Drug Testing

Employers usually do drug tests to make sure their employees are safe. Employers need to maintain a safe environment for their employees so they can do their work. This also protects the company from problems. Workers cannot be sued because of accidents at work. This will stop people from getting sick because they have a problem with substances. Drug testing is a routine test that all employees have to take. This might happen if there were security concerns about theft, violence, etc. For those who carry firearms and before they are hired (i.e., new hires).

Laws For Drug Testing

There are laws that govern pre-employment drug testing.

The EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) protects employees in workplaces that lie under the supervision of the government. They created laws and regulations to do this.

Employers can require people to take a test for illegal substances if they give people notice. However, employers cannot make any other demands or impose conditions such as requiring participation in rehabilitation programs for people to be considered for hire. Employers cannot refuse to hire someone just because they have a test that came back positive or if they refuse to take the test. When someone complains about being treated unfairly with respect to substance abuse, there should be no retaliation.

When a company wants an employee to take a drug test, the employee needs to know why. The company also needs to give the person who fails the drug test a chance to explain why they failed. If an employee spends their time operating vehicles or heavy equipment, they may need to take a test often. This is to make sure that they are safe and that others around them are safe too. These tests might include alcohol tests.

One may carry out employee drug testing either with a urine sample or a blood/breathalyzer. Most employers prefer these methods because they can find drugs that were used in the last few days to weeks. If you use hair follicle testing, they will only tell you about drugs that were used in the past.

What do Drug Tests detect?

drug tests

Employee drug testing people can find out if they are high now. Testing is not able to see if someone used drugs in the past. It only tells about drugs that are in your body now. Employers can use drug tests to help them make decisions like hiring, firing, and taking away pay for people in a rehabilitation program, depending on their policy. If your employees go to treatment without their knowledge, then they might still have drugs in their system that will show up on a drug test.

Employee drug testing detects a range of drugs and can reveal traces even after the effects have worn off. Many companies only test for drugs. The drugs they test for are marijuana, cocaine, opiates (e.g., heroin), amphetamines/methamphetamines, phencyclidine (PCP), and ecstasy. They may also add barbiturates or benzodiazepines to their panel depending on what it is.

In the past, drug tests were only able to tell if someone had used an illegal substance. They couldn’t tell if they had used a lot or for how long. However, some manufacturers have developed new versions that measure the level of bodily fluids. These are more accurate than the old ones.

When Do employers Call For a Drug Test?

When Do employers Call For a Drug Test

The drug test can happen at any time during the application process or after the hiring process. If your employer is worried about safety risks for other people, they might have a mandatory policy for random testing. This will keep everyone safe.

Before employment

Drug tests are common before an individual starts a new job or when there’s suspicion that drugs might be impacting their work performance. Employers know it takes time to get used to a routine, but if you use drugs often, you might start showing signs of use soon after starting your job. In this situation, employers typically call for an immediate screening test (i.e., within 48 hours).

Reasonable suspicion

If there’s reason to believe that an individual has been using drugs, employers can also request a drug test. Sometimes, they call it “reasonable suspicion” testing. It usually requires evidence of suspicious behavior or physical cues, like dilated pupils or slurred speech. If someone passes the screening process, their employer may still call for additional tests to make sure they are okay to work.


Some companies will make sure that all employees take a random drug test at some point. This is the case for drivers and people who work in departments like that.

After a workplace accident

In some situations, employers can also request a drug test after an accident has occurred on the job. If you think someone may have had drugs or alcohol when they were in a serious accident, then you should test everyone who was there at the same time.

After Termination

Some employers have a policy that if you quit, they will ask you to take a drug test for drugs. Or if you stay with the company, within 30 days of your last day, they will do a drug test. Employers take this as another way for them to monitor whether they’re using again and working towards sobriety. In some cases, this could lead to someone getting their job back if they were fired for drug use, but now they are not using drugs.

Periodic Testing

Finally, some businesses do random and periodic drug tests. This is to make sure the person who works there doesn’t use drugs. And if they go to rehab and come back, they will do a drug test too. Employers might call for tests at regular intervals. This is usually done as another way of monitoring one’s progress and ensuring safety within the company environment.

Testing After Returning To Duty

If you have a drug problem and you finished the treatment, your employer may ask for a “return-to-duty” test before they will let you work again. This means that they want to make sure that you do not have any drugs in your body. For people who have been away from work for a long time, employers may also use this type of test.

How is Employee Drug Test Conducted?

There are many ways to test for drugs and alcohol. You give your sample to a review officer who takes it to a lab. The tests are accurate most of the time.

Drug tests

Urine Test or Urinalysis

This is the most common method of drug testing. They may use a urine sample to find drugs or their metabolites in your system. They can find for days, weeks, or months after you have taken them.

Hair Test

A hair test can tell if you have taken a drug in the past. It will take a while, but it is worth it. This test will tell you the amount of time the drugs haven’t been in your body. It can take up to three months for a result to show up if there are no false positives.

Breathalyzer Test

A breathalyzer measures your blood alcohol content by blowing into a tube. The machine will show the results within seconds on the machine. This is a good way to test whether a person has been drinking recently. It will not show if they have taken drugs. This is useful where employees take random alcohol tests at work each day.

Blood Test

This test is less expensive to administer than other methods of drug testing. It can tell if a drug is in a person. It is like a pregnancy test. One problem with saliva tests is that they can only measure recent drug use and cannot detect past usage history as accurately as hair or urine testing.

Saliva Test

This test better finds traces of drugs or alcohol in your body even if you have not taken them in a while. The test is better than a blood test because it does not depend on how much alcohol or drugs you have taken in the past. Usually within three months maximum- whereas some other forms such as urinalysis go back longer into your’s history.

How Long Does Drug Testing Take?

Depending on which method of drug testing is used, the time it takes to get results will be different. Places like hair can take up to three months for it to show drug usage. Saliva only takes a couple of minutes. Drug tests are accurate as long as professionals conduct them. If you are not careful, you could get bad results. If this happens, your job might be at risk.

What If An Employee Tests Positive For Drug Abuse?

What If An Employee Tests Positive For Drug Abuse?

If you take drugs at your job, the employer can take action against you. This includes taking away your promotion or firing you if the problem gets worse. They could impose a fine on you or send you to jail. There are certain regulations that a person must follow when it comes to employee drug testing. If you want to work for a company, it is important that you know what their policies are about drugs. If you fail a drug test, they may fire you and you will not be able to work there.

A Word From Mantra Care

Drug testing can be a great asset to your company, even if you’re not looking for the drugs themselves. You may find that some employees are abusing prescription or illegal substances and they need help getting back on track with their lives. If this is the case, then drug testing can tell who needs help by finding out if they are an addict. It can be hard to talk about addiction issues in a business setting. We hope that these tips will give you something to think about when deciding whether or not you should have drug testing at your workplace.

Do you want to keep your employees happy, healthy, and productive? Join our employee assistance program and get a healthier workplace.

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