Workplace drug testing makes good business sense and can have a significant impact on an employer’s bottom line. Drug testing reduces accidents and injuries, thereby reducing workers’ compensation and unemployment claims. Drug testing reduces absenteeism and health insurance claims and it increases performance, morale and productivity.
A typical “recreational drug user” in today’s workforce is:
*2.2 times more likely to request early dismissal or time off
*2.5 times more likely to have absences of eight or more days
*3.6 times more likely to be involved in an accident off the job (which in turn affects attendance or performance on the job)
*5 times more likely to file a workers compensation claim
*7 times more likely to have wage garnishments
*1/3 less productive
Based on these statistics, a single drug user in WA state will cost a company upwards of $14,946 per year!!
The key components of a company drug testing program include a clear policy which states the reasons and process for testing and the consequences for failure and it includes a good employee assistance program that posseses a clear and comprehensive understanding of drug and alcohol problems in the workplace.
While some employers choose to terminate an employee who tests positive, often a “last chance agreement” is best. It offers the employee a chance at rehabilitation and can potentially save a good employee who can return to high quality and productive performance once he or she is clean and sober.
Some companies offer only pre-employment drug testing while others also include post-accident, for cause (reasonable suspicion) and random testing. This is the best way to ensure a drug free workplace rather than just conducting pre-employment testing.
When the EAP works in conjunction with the employer or union as part of their drug testing program, we can conduct an initial drug and alcohol assessment, refer the employee for a second opinion assessment if needed, and then refer to a treatment program if required. If the employee is not found to require treatment, the employer will be notified that he is able to do a return to work test and then return to work. Usually, he will also sign a last chance agreement so if he tests positive again, he will be terminated. If the employee attends treatment, when ready, he will also do a return to work test and sign a last chance agreement. The EAP counselor will monitor his progress in treatment and after treatment is completed, for up to two years.
Often, the greatest chance for relapse is once the employee has completed treatment and loses the consistency of ongoing support. Our EAP ensures the employee is given as much support as needed to maintain sobriety.
We gave partnered with Drug Free Business, a non-profit company that provides drug testing at a very affordable rate, assistance with policies and third party management. For more information contact www.drugfreebusiness.org.
Employees are an employer’s most important asset. Drug testing can ensure a safe, productive workforce and a last chance agreement is a fair way to offer those with a drug problem, a chance to get help and save their job.
For more information about how your EAP can assist with drug testing, send us an email.