The benefits and drawbacks of workplace drug testing

On Behalf of | Jan 25, 2022 | Criminal Defense |

Some employers in Alabama use testing to deter drug use among their employees. An employer may require drug testing during the hiring process or use periodic random drug testing for all of their employees.

Workplace drug testing sends a message that drug use is frowned upon and there may be employment consequences for taking drugs. There can be both a positive and a negative impact on a work environment when an employer uses drug testing.

Benefits of drug testing

Drug testing may prevent employees from using drugs and showing up to work under the influence. Depending on the job, drug testing could potentially prevent life-threatening accidents from occurring. For example, drug testing school bus drivers may keep kids safer on their way to and from school.

It’s important that employers are clear about their expectations when it comes to drug testing and workers understand what the consequences of drug violations are. One employer may have a zero-tolerance drug policy while another employer may give workers a warning for the first positive drug test.

Drawbacks of drug testing

There are many drawbacks to drug testing that are important to keep in mind. Drug tests can display false positives, which can result in a sober worker being fired for no reason. Another problem with drug tests is that they cannot determine whether a worker is under the influence of drugs in real-time, only that they used drugs at some point.

A balanced approach

If an employer decides to use drug testing, it’s important that they have a plan for handling positive test results. Since false positives are so common, employers may want to use subsequent tests to confirm a positive result. Employers should also be aware of legal drug use and how it may affect drug testing.