Deciding whether to hire a candidate should depend on more than just their resume, interview, and background check. You may want to find out whether the candidate’s lifestyle is suited for your company. One way to accomplish this objective is through pre-employment drug testing. This can help save money and protect the safety of your workforce.
Discover why drug testing is important, common methods of testing, and some challenges related to testing for marijuana in 2022.
Why Drug Testing Is Important
Pre-employment drug testing helps protect workplace safety and can also increase employee morale, reduce turnover, and save money.
Drug testing may be more important for certain industries than others. For instance, jobs that require operating heavy machinery likely are more affected by illegal drug use than administrative positions. The potential safety issues should have a significant impact on whether your candidates receive pre-employment drug testing.
Methods of Drug Testing
Pre-employment drug testing may be performed through the collection of urine, saliva, blood, or sweat tests. The testing often checks for the use of amphetamines, cocaine, marijuana, phencyclidine, and opiates. Employers can request tests that screen for other substances as well.
Drug testing may happen in three phases. The first phase involves the collection and initial screen to determine the absence or presence of detectable drugs. If the initial screen returns a positive result, the second phase involves a confirmation screen with a review performed by a medical review officer. The results of the drug testing are provided to the employer and candidate within 1 to 3 days.
Challenges of Testing for Marijuana
Pre-employment testing for marijuana is becoming more of an obstacle. Right now, the use of marijuana for medicinal or recreational purposes is legal in at least 19 states. As a result, employers are seeing an increase in drug positivity rates. This includes testing positive for marijuana use after an onsite accident.
Many employers in states that legalized the use of marijuana have stopped testing for the drug. A number of these states, such as Arizona and New York, also have employee protections that prohibit an employer from discriminating against workers who use medical marijuana. Nevada even requests that employers modify working conditions for employees who use marijuana for medicinal purposes.
Employers should educate their employees on the risks and dangers of using illegal drugs. This should include the impact the drugs may have on an employee’s ability to safely perform their duties.
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