Whether or not to implement a drug testing program has always been a moral issue for businesses.
Employees value their privacy, so there is a chance that drug testing might make them feel as if this privacy is being violated. However, having no drug testing programs in place might open a business up to drug abuse which will lead to bigger and dire consequences.
This conundrum leads us to a very valid question – Is it necessary for companies to implement a drug testing program? Find the main arguments pro and against as follows.
Reasons for drug testing at work
Overall well-being of the company
Perhaps the biggest reason for drug testing at work is to ensure that everyone remains safe. Drug abuse can lead to violent altercations and accidents. Simply put, a sound drug testing program ensures that the employees are drug-free and safe to work with.
While there may be physical signs that an employee is taking drugs, mere observation is in no way 100 percent accurate in pinpointing possible drug addicts. Only a proper drug testing procedure will be able to positively identify who has been using drugs.
Poor work quality
All companies hate poor production from their employees. Drug abuse is one of the main reasons why workers start putting out substandard work. Frequent tardiness, absenteeism, and low work output are some of the signs that an employee is taking drugs. If this is the case, implementing a drug testing program is going to be an investment for the company in the long run.
Avoid legal complications
Drug abuse in the workplace puts a lot of risks to the other employees. In turn, this puts the company in a lot of risks legally and opens them up to lawsuits. Drug abuse leads to a lot of accidents and that can cause lawsuits pertaining to the company’s ability to provide drug-free working conditions. With drug testing, the company can eliminate drug abuse in the office and avoid all these potential legal problems. For some companies, this one is the most valid out of all the reasons for drug testing at work.
Improve the workplace’s morale
A drug testing program can make employees feel as if their employees really care about their safety. This could lead to a higher morale in the workplace that could boost motivation and lead to better work results.
Positive company image
Having a drug testing program means that a company is all about business and safety. A clean company will not only exude pride among employees but also to potential hires that are job hunting. Clients also tend to do business with companies that have a clean name.
Helping others get clean
At the end of the day, a company is a family and helping each other out is a must. While company image and work quality are very important, helping a family member get off drugs takes precedence above everything.
Drug testing is not about singling individuals out and publicly humiliating them. A good drug testing program is actually the catalyst towards helping those who are gripped from drugs.
Keep in mind that a lot of companies do not fire employees who are positive from drug abuse. These people are often encouraged to go to rehabilitation facilities and some are even allowed to resume their jobs while the treatment is on-going. An employee is a valued family member of a company, and they should be helped when they are having troubles. Out of all the reasons for drug testing at work, this is the most important.
Reasons against drug testing at work
Depending on the conditions, a drug testing program could cost the company $40 per person or more. The cost is one of the biggest reasons why companies opt not to do a drug testing program at work.
Employees might feel violated
Some employees might feel that a drug testing program is a clear sign that the company does not understand the boundaries. They might feel that their privacy is under attack or worse, feel as if the company is insinuating that they are being shortlisted as drug addicts.
Once again, legal obligations
To sucessfully safeguard staff and the general public through a drug testing program, some legal groundwork needs to be done. A solid drug testing at work policy and legal framework needs to be created.
Since a failed drug test can lead to termination of employment it is not uncommon for affected employees to sue their former employer for unfair dismissal.
So instead of going through the trouble of drug testing, policy creation, staff education and ultimately firing a person, some companies try and just sweep the problem under the rug, so to speak.
What is the right choice?
At the end of the day, the reasons for drug testing at work clearly outweigh the negatives. The health and well-being of the entire workforce are by far the most important. In addition, failure to drug test can potentially destroy an entire organisation.
As long as it is done by an experienced and trusted organisation, drug testing is an effective way to create safety and trust within the workplace.