Some studies show that substance abusers are 33 to 50 percent less productive than non-users, are absent from work three weeks more per year than non-users, and are four times more likely to have an accident on the job.
Private-sector employers enjoy significant latitude in deciding whether and how to drug test applicants and employees, although any program should be carefully thought out to maximize such a program’s effectiveness and to minimize other potential problems. Further, in order to participate in federal or a number of state contracting programs, an employer has to show that it has taken the steps prescribed by statute to have a drug-free workplace. Some states, such as Ohio, will allow reduction in worker’s compensation premiums if an employer participates in the state’s Drug-Free Workplace Program. (For more information on that, visit this link.)
Public employers may drug test limited classes of employees under certain conditions, but they must give special consideration in drug testing situations because of the Constitution’s prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures, which may be implicated by some types of drug testing programs.
Taft attorneys can assist both public and private employers in the implementation and administration of drug testing programs. An effective drug testing program should be designed, implemented and administered based on the unique characteristics and culture of the employer. Employers can test for drugs in a number of different ways. For example, some of our clients test hair to investigate the use of illegal drugs.