Six Reasons Why Companies Drug Test
April 22, 2008
In an article published on March 24, we presented “The Six Key Elements of a Drug Abuse Prevention Program.” One of these elements is drug testing. As a follow-up to that article, we are going to post two articles this week on whether or not to implement a drug testing program. The first article will present six reasons why companies implement drug testing programs. The second article will present six reasons why companies don’t.
Here then, are six reasons why companies implement drug testing programs:
1. To help the community: By addressing the drug abuse problem effectively, employers “do their part” in addressing the needs of the community. All segments of society must fight the war on drugs.
2. To maintain productivity: At this time of heightened national concern about the competitiveness of American business, employers cannot afford to carry significant numbers of employees who are one-third less productive because they have drugs in their systems.
3. To protect employees and customers: Workers on drugs present a clear and present danger to themselves, co-workers, and members of the public. Employers cannot and should not allow the safety and health of others to be jeopardized by drug abusers in the workplace.
4. To contain health care costs: Drug users are not only more likely to injure others on the job, they also incure four times the medical expenses of the average employee. Some state workers’ compensation laws deny overage if the injury resulted from the use of illicit drugs or alcohol. Taking advantage of these statutes is virtually impossible without testing.
5. To deter drug use: If drug users know a company makes “being drug-free” a condition of employment, they are more likely to refrain from illegal drug use or to apply for employment elsewhere.
6. To rehabilitate employees: To the extent that drug testing uncovers drug dependency problems and forces people to face up to them, drug testing can be constructive, humane and even life-saving.
Whether or not to establish a drug testing program is an important decision that should not be made lightly. Hopefully, the above reasons as to why and our follow-up article as to why not, will be helpful.
Information courtesy of Labor and Employment Law Blog