What is a Drug Free Workplace?
A Drug-Free Workplace is when all employees adhere to a program of policies and activities promoting a safe Workplace. It is specifically designed to discourage alcohol and drug abuse and encourage treatment, recovery and the return to work of those employees with such abuse problems.
A comprehensive drug-free workplace strategy offers significant opportunities to reduce operating costs, largely because the cost of not maintaining a drug-free workplace is often grossly underestimated. For example, one employee experiencing drug abuse problems will reduce productivity by more than 30% and, on average, cost their employer at least $7,000 per year.
In addition, you will also save money due to lower worker’s compensation claims, since a drug using employee is five times more likely to file a claim during their employment. And, you’ll reduce loss and shrinkage, considering that 80% of drug users steal from their workplace to support their habits.
Screening out just one potential employee who could have brought drugs into the workplace, or providing employee assistance services that keep one existing employee from becoming entangled in drug abuse, can save you thousands of dollars, reduce your exposure to even more costly accidents, and improve employee engagement as well.
Can I drug test an employee without a policy in place?
It would not be advisable to test your employees without a policy in place due to the possibility of civil litigation that may stem from discrimination or unfair employee practices. A drug and alcohol policy is the backbone of your drug-free workplace program and provides a guide to handling drug and alcohol testing in your company.
If I have a zero tolerance drug and alcohol policy, can I terminate one employee with a positive drug test result and keep another employee who tested positive as well?
No, even though Georgia is an “employment at will” state, the chances for civil litigation increase with inconsistency in a drug-free workplace program.
Is an Employer able to drug-test an applicant prior to employment?
Yes. Urine drug testing is one of the most popular methods for pre-employment and random drug testing for recent drug use, as they are easy to use and provide fast, accurate, and economical results.