What employers should look for in a drug test

It’s becoming common for most employers in various industries to request a pre-employment drug test. This helps employers to have peace of mind knowing that they are choosing the right job applicants for the role and screen out some applicants quite early in the recruitment process. There are even some employers who conduct ongoing drug tests for current employees. 

This is necessary because employees who use illicit drugs at the workplace can cause the workplace unsafe for themselves, other employees, and your customers. This is the reason why employee training courses are important. Employees can learn the consequences of using illicit drugs at work. If you are an employer, you may wonder what drug is involved in drug tests and which drug substances to look for. This page discusses what employers should look for in a drug test. 

An employee drug test

An employer can choose from a wide range of different drug tests. Some of them can involve checking for the most commonly used drug substances while others test for a variety of drugs. A 5 panel basic test is considered to be the most common type of drug test when it comes to hiring new employees. This looks for the use of cocaine, marijuana, codeine, heroin, PCP, morphine, and amphetamines, such as Adderall and Ritalin.  

An employer can also opt for more extensive drug tests that look for other substances, such as barbiturates, MDMA, and prescription opiates like oxycodone. Take note that some tests also check for alcohol use. 

An employee drug test can sometimes take different forms. The most common include urine test, hair drug test, blood test, and breath alcohol test. Urine tests are usually used during hiring as well as ongoing employee drug testing. Also, saliva tests are popular because they offer fast results and are non-invasive.

Most drug tests can show prior drug use, though the amount of time can depend on the type of test. For instance, a breath alcohol test only indicated the amount of alcohol that is currently in the blood. On the other hand, a saliva test can indicate as positive when you used the drugs in the past couple of hours. 

In contrast, a hair drug test gives a window of at least 5 to 90 days into the past drug use of a person but doesn’t show current impairment due to drugs. With urine tests, they can indicate the presence of drugs that remain in a person’s body even after the effects wear off. These drug tests can give positive drug test results for some drugs, such as marijuana for at a least a month after the last use.  

A failed drug test can bring many questions for both an employer and employee. In most cases, an employer needs to follow federal drug-free workplace regulations and laws. This means that you cannot interpret the rules, so you just have to follow these laws and regulations.

But most private employers can create their drug-free policies. When an employee tests positive for drugs, they need to consistently follow the written drug testing policy so that they can avoid accusations of discrimination. When they decide to create a drug testing policy, an employer must make sure that they are familiar with state, federal, and local laws and get additional drug testing resources. 

In most cases, private employers cannot terminate a worker for a one-time positive drug test. Instead, they may request an employee to go to rehab and allow them to retain their job under certain conditions. An employer can also choose not to promote an employee who tested positive for illicit drugs. Also, if a person fails a pre-employment drug test, an employer can rescind the job offer.

Keep in mind that the use of employment screening services can assist to mitigate potential employee risks as well as the subsequent negative impacts on your business. Most safety-sensitive industries like transportation, healthcare, and childcare rely on drug screening services during the pre-employment stage to identify potential risks like criminal history and drug abuse that can jeopardize operations. 

An employment screening service can help your company to demonstrate that you expect an employee to be accountable and the importance of workplace safety. These services help employees to be compliant to regulations and maintain a safe work environment for everyone.  

Types of employment screening services 

One of the employment screening services is the employment drug testing. This drug testing helps employers to identify substance abuse concerns in job applicants or current employees. There are 5, 10, and 12 panel tests that can analyze specimens, such as hair and urine for the presence of illicit substance use. 

You need to drug test your workers because it can assist to detect the risks of harmful substance abuse. And, drug testing can also ensure that the job applicants and current employees comply with workplace safety policy and maintain safety-sensitive jobs. 

There is also a pre-employment background check that can help you to verify references, previous employment, education, and criminal history of a job applicant. Just like a drug test, this one can also help to identify any safety concerns that can expose your company to certain risks. 

When doing a background check, you need to spot inconsistencies that are there between the report results and the job applicant’s application details. This includes false education credential, high-risk criminal history, and incorrect employment history.   

You can also do occupational health tests so that you can make sure that an employee or a job applicant meets the physical standards needed to fill in a position. The good thing about occupational health screenings is that they can prevent workplace accidents that may affect the wellbeing of both coworkers and customers.

Some good examples of occupational health responsibilities are employment physicals that the Department of Transportation requires to make sure that the job applicant meets commercial licensing requirements. Another occupational health requirement is the vaccinations for employees who work in high-risk healthcare settings. 

With many fatal workplace incidents happening nowadays, it’s crucial for companies to have reliable employee screening solutions. Drug testing can ensure that your workplace is safe for all employees, customers, and the public.