Is Drug Testing Expensive

Case Report – Employer Concern Over Expense of Pre-employment Drug Testing

>> Employer reports a high turnover business and cost of pre-employment drug testing has doubled due to a recent acquisition.  The employer is considering eliminating the drug testing program.  This is a retail establishment with 20 locations spread over three states. Recommendations are as follow:

The employer has a drug-testing program and has a  concern of a high turnover causing a large number of pre-employment drug tests, and this is costly.

Without an effective drug-free workplace turnover will continue to remain high along with productivity issues, absenteeism, employee theft and other adverse activities among employees that are using illicit drugs.

For this client the high turnover of a new acquisition causes a concern about the costs of the drug-testing program.  I would recommend the following:

  1. Have a comprehensive written drug free workplace program developed
  2. Check all State laws in all operating States to insure compliance with State laws regarding workplace drug testing
  3. Eliminate pre-employment testing except for management positions
  4. Ramp up a random testing program to 5 – 6 per location per month
  5. Educate and train supervisors to recognize signs and symptoms of drug use or alcohol abuse at work

What the Costs of Not Having a Drug Testing Program

It will be more expensive to eliminate all drug testing.  This will lead to:

  • Higher turnover – this is costly
  • More workplace accidents
  • Workers compensation claims
  • Increased workers compensation costs

Why Random Drug Testing

Random drug testing provides for an effective deterrent to workplace drug abuse.  This can lead to avoiding the costly factors listed above. Random testing can also be a tool for early identification of a substance abusing employee.  A good employee can get clean and get back to work.

When pre-employment testing becomes too costly, our recommendation is to at the very least continue with or add random testing.

More Information on Employer Drug Testing

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