“Under Texas and federal laws, there is almost no limitation at all on the right of private employers to adopt drug and alcohol testing policies for their workers.” -Texas Workforce Commision.
Pre-Employment Drug Testing
As an employer, worker safety is paramount. That’s why pre-employment screenings are an must-have requirement for a drug-free worksite. Private sector employees can perform pre and post employment screenings as a condition of employment, but each state does have their own specific set of rules to follow.
Workplace Safety Screenings is headquartered in Houston, Texas. According to our own state law, “Employers with more than 15 employees (and workers' compensation coverage) must adopt a workplace drug reduction policy of their own choosing.” The policies of other states vary from having no regulations related to drug testing, to having their own conditions for when and how employers can legally test and how policies related to testing must be communicated to employees. Not only can Workplace Safety Screenings help you comply with your state-specific laws, we can draft and executive a tailor-made, comprehensive workplace safety policy.
Stay Compliant with State Laws
While your state’s privacy laws may put boundaries on your ability to test current employees, testing is justified when workplace safety is threatened or in cases where there is reasonable suspicion or when a post-accident investigation is required. Ongoing post-hire drug testing should be performed when
- An employee is hired in a safety-sensitive position
- An employee must comply with testing as part of a drug rehabilitation, return-to-work agreement
- When an accident, injury or fatality occurs on the worksite
- When an employee is showing signs of impairment or erratic behavior while on the job
Protecting Your Employee’s Privacy Protects You
While workplace drug testing (and background checks) does not typically put you at risk of violating an employee’s right to privacy, how you handle such testing and their results might. Using a third party, like Workplace Safety Screening (WSS) will protect you.
- WSS Testing is always performed as part of a corporate safety protocol which helps you avoid claims of discrimination
- WSS will always deliver results to the one being tested in a way that complies with state and federal privacy laws so that sensitive information is always delivered to the correct individual
- WSS performs pre employment screenings, random testing and reasonable suspicion testing so that no individual employees are unfairly targeted, whether in reality or perception.
Adapting Policies for Changing Drug Laws
More and more states are passing laws that allow for medical marijuana use, and in some cases recreational use. While employees cannot be discriminated against for medical use, this is still a gray area for employers. Until lately, drug-use that affects work safety still sides with the employer. Because business owners can be legally or financially liable for on-the-job accidents, you are still within your rights when you forgo offering a position to a candidate or for terminating an employee who tests positive for marijuana use. While substance abuse is classified as an accommodatable disability, federal regulations are not consistent with state laws, particularly when public safety can be threatened. Workplace Safety Screenings can make sure you and your employees remain compliant, even as the definition of “complaint”, as it pertains to drug testing and worksite safety, is a constantly evolving concept.
- Does your drug-free policy address marijuana laws for your state?
- Do you provide updates on your drug-free policy when new legislation is passed?
- Do you define all relevant terms related to drug-testing when communicating to employees?
- Who should conduct a drug test and on which employees?
When it comes to drug testing and pre-employment screenings, we help you think of every possible detail. You never want to be caught in a discrimination claim for failure to communicate and clearly define terms with your employees. When it comes to fairly and accurately pre screening employees, Workplace Safety Screenings thinks of everything so you don’t have to.