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Employee Screening and Drug Tests

Christopher E Miller

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Employee screening is a major concern for businesses of all sizes. Stories abound of companies with lax hiring practices bringing employees with drug problems aboard. These employees can cause disruption in the work environment and even injure other workers. Often, the business becomes embroiled in lawsuits related to these incidents. In the end, there can be a severe cost to the company and even loss of life. That's why hiring practices involve stringent screening processes. The need to weed out problematic employees has never been greater. Drug testing is now a part of many companies’ employee screening program. Below, we'll explore why it's done and how to make drug tests a part of your hiring procedures.

The Importance Of Drug Testing

There are many important reasons for including drug testing in your employee screening program. Drug abuse in the workplace can have a massive effect on the productivity and safety of other workers. People who have a drug problem are more likely to be absent from work, unreliable in their positions and more prone to theft and other crimes. Plus, drug abusers often have poor attitudes that make working with them difficult.

Another reason why drug testing is essential is that workers who are under the influence of drugs will often make mistakes in the workplace. This can lead to injury (for the drug abuser or other workers) and expensive claims for worker's compensation.

How To Make Drug Tests A Part Of Employee Screening

First, you need to check with your state's laws regarding drug testing. Each state has its own regulations. Some only allow applicants to be tested for drugs after an offer for employment has been made. Second, create a formal drug policy for your company. The policy should include clear explanations of how and when the drug test is administered for employee screening. Third, be sure to have all applicants sign a consent form. Both the drug policy and the consent form should clearly explain the steps involved with the testing. Any results from the test should be kept confidential in the same way sensitive personal information would be.

Employee Screening For Overall Protection

Including drug tests in your employee screening program protects your workforce and your company. By weeding out applicants who have a history of drug abuse, you reduce the chances of their mistakes or errors in judgment harming other employees. Plus, by conducting these tests, you can guard your business against negligent hiring lawsuits.

Many companies continue to expose their businesses to the possibility of hiring bad employees. This is ironic for 2 reasons. First, the cost of conducting employee screening is relatively small. Second, the potential cost of neglecting to do so is explosively high. If your company doesn't have rigorous hiring practices that include exhaustive employee background checks, you could be more vulnerable than you imagine.

Chris Miller, President of FYI Screening, Inc. , helps employers evaluate and improve their employee screening programs to make their jobs easier, prevent theft and loss, and create a safer workplace. Read the Top 4 Things You Need To Know About Employee Screening.


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