Pre-employment Drug Testing Improves Profitability
Pre-employment drug testing and random drug screening in the workplace has become a controversial issue. On the one hand opponents claim it is an invasion of an individual’s privacy to ask them to submit to a drug test. The concern they have is that what someone does on their own time is their own business as long as they show up for work and do the job they were hired to do. On the other hand business owners have to be concerned on a number of levels. The liabilities they potentially face due to accidents or harm caused by employees to their customers, poor customer service, hindering retail theft prevention efforts and lost productivity are real issues. Consider the following stories:
• According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics: “Overdoses from the non-medical use of drugs or alcohol while on the job increased from 165 in 2015 to 217 in 2016, a 32-percent increase.”
• “BMW was forced to shut down an assembly line for 40 minutes on March 3 – reportedly costing the company more than $1 million – after two drugged-out employees got high and collapsed while working, Bild reports.” The Drive, “Stoned Assembly Line Workers Cost BMW $1 Million in One Day, Report Claims”, by Aaron Brown, March 20, 2017.
• From a story in auburnpub.com, Sep 6, 2017, by Megan Barr, “Ex-employee admits stealing from Cayuga County non-profit to support drug habit”. “During his plea, he told Judge Mark Fandrich that he stole two snowblowers from CSCAA on Jan. 9. “I stole from my employer to support my drug habit.”
The potential problems for employers are real and have to be considered before a new employee is hired. How to minimize the chance of hiring someone who may use drugs in the workplace is not an easy question to answer but Loss Prevention Systems Inc. has the solution with pre-employment drug testing.
Drug screening may seem unpleasant but for the sake of the employer it is necessary. Usually it only involves a potential employee rendering a urine sample in a controlled environment where the chance of tampering with the sample is minimized. The sample bottle is sealed by a professional staff member and shipped out for testing or depending on the facility the testing is done on-sight. Results are usually obtained fairly quickly and returned to the employer. Results that indicate the candidate has been using illegal or controlled substances are reported to the employer and a decision is made on how to proceed. In the case of controlled substances the candidate should be reporting in advance that they are on a prescription and be able to present a doctor’s note confirming that.
As you can see from the stories I listed in the first part of this article hiring someone who takes drugs can have an adverse effect on your business from retail theft prevention concerns to on-the-job injuries. You have no idea whether this candidate would injure him/herself while on your property. Are you aware that should an employee be injured on the job, according to the OSHA (Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration) “1. Requires employers to inform employees of their right to report work-related injuries and illnesses free from retaliation. 2. Clarifies the existing implicit requirement that an employer’s procedure for reporting work-related illnesses must be reasonable and not deter or discourage employees from reporting” https://www.osha.gov/recordkeeping/finalrule/finalrule_faq.html In other words, should an employee be injured on the job they must feel safe to report it without fear of retaliation, this seems to even be if drugs are suspected to be involved. The policy FAQ section goes on to state, “The rule does not prohibit drug testing of employees. It only prohibits employers from using drug testing or the threat of drug testing as a form of retaliation against employees who report illnesses or injuries.” I would suggest that post-accident drug testing is pointless as it would appear that firing an employee who tests positive for drug use could be considered retaliation. Pre-employment drug testing BEFORE you make a final hiring decision on an applicant can save you headaches in the future.
In order to support your retail theft prevention efforts and to keep your store safe you need to conduct pre-employment drug testing. Don’t hire someone who may steal to support a drug habit or possibly have an on the job injury due to being high. Drug testing plays a critical role for employers to keep their stores profitable and safe. Be sure you are bringing the right people on your team that will support your goals of running a profitable business.
Need information on pre-employment drug testing? Give us a call at 1.866.914.2567 and let’s talk