Today more than ever, having a WRITTEN drug-free workplace policy is absolutely essential. If you don’t have a written drug-free workplace policy and conduct drug testing, then you are opening your company up to liability. We often get employers calling and asking what to do after they have had someone take a drug test and then revceived notice that the employee tested positive for one or more drugs. When asked what their policy states, too often the response is we don’t have a written policy. Not having a policy can lead to bad things happening, such as lawsuits.
There are 10 Pillars of a good Drug-Free Workplace policy. These include but are not limited to the following:
- States the purpose and goal
- Who is covered
- When does it apply
- What behaviors are prohibited?
- Is drug testing included and if so under what circumstances
- What are the consequesnces for violation of the policy
- What types of Employee Assistance are available
- How is employee confidentiality protected
- Who is respnsible for overseeing and enforcing the policy
- Employee communication and disclosure information
Other provisions may also be required if your company falls under DOT regulations or specific State Drug-Free Workplace Programs. Does your state allow for termination on first offense or does it require a second chance agreement? There may be other specific laws or regulations that you may be subject to especially if operating in more than one state.
If you do not have a policy or it has not been reviewed or revised in the past year, then there is a good chance there may be some exposure to liability due to changes in laws and regulations. If you have questions, please reach out to our team to review your policy or get one in place. It is much easier and much less expensive to be proactive than to wait until something bad happens and then try to fix it.