Situation: A company is in the skilled trades. When there is an injury at work, Workers Compensation does not cover the employee if they were using drugs or alcohol at the time of the injury. Should you conduct random drug tests at work? How do you make employees aware of company policy on random drug tests?
Advice from the CEOs:
- Laws governing Workers Compensation vary by state. Be sure to get the latest update on regulations from your State.
- The best policy is preventative. Always test for drugs and alcohol prior to hiring. Let potential employees know that this testing is a requirement of employment, and that a positive test disqualifies the candidate. A candidate has the option to disqualify him or herself rather than be tested.
- The use of medical marijuana with a doctor’s prescription does not preclude a candidate or employee from failing a drug test. State laws regarding medical marijuana are evolving, so monitor state regulations.
- In your employee policy, specify that you can test for drug use at any time, at your discretion. Additionally, state that you have the option to perform a drug test in case of an injury. If there is an injury on the job, have the treating physician perform a drug test on the injured employee.
- Assure that you are consistent in treatment of employees and in how you apply your policy.
- There should always be a reason for a drug test – tie it to employee safety.
- As you institute a new policy, let all employees know about the policy. Prominently post the policy at your place of work, and remind employees about the policy at appropriate company or employee meetings.