Drug testing in the workplace has been commonplace since 1986, but with the prevalence of medicinal marijuana and spreading legalization, the question of drug testing is more debatable than ever.
Why It’s Important to Continue Random Drug Testing
In fields where dangerous objects are being handled and safety is imperative, such as construction sites, kitchens or waste disposal, continuing to drug test creates a safe work environment. Knowing that employees are healthy also fosters better relationships between co-workers, as well as their employers.
Random testing can help to deter drug users from even applying to a position in the first place, therefore not wasting employers time and money. If an employee uses drugs and is aware of a drug test on a set day every few months they are a potential threat to co-workers and employers because they may be able to abstain long enough for a clean test.
Why Reasonable Suspicion May Be a Better Choice:
Drugs stay in certain systems of the body longer based on how much and how often a substance is used, so based on whether you are asked for a urine, blood or hair test it could make a huge difference. Most drugs will only be in a urine sample 1-4 days, blood 6-12 hours and hair around 90 days. An employee could be fired for a one-time offense, even if they are an otherwise safe and hard worker.
Random drug testing can foster a lot of resentment in a workforce. Workers might feel like it is an invasion of their privacy and that their employer does not trust them, though it could just be company policy. Workers might also be afraid they will lose their jobs and receive no help or treatment for a drug problem.
It all comes down to your business’s environment, safety and cost. Obviously, if you are testing one employee instead of fifty you will lose less money. The trade-off for spending more money to test an entire construction crew might be worth it but not to test an office staff.