Drug and Alcohol Policy
Drug and alcohol use among employees can be an expensive problem, with issues ranging from lost productivity, absenteeism, injuries, fatalities, theft, and low employee morale, to an increase in health care, legal liabilities, and workers’ compensation costs. A written workplace policy needs to be developed in consultation with all levels of the company. An effective workplace policy.
Every employer in our country has the responsibility of maintaining a workplace where their employees can perform any required duties with minimal risk every day. It’s an employer’s duty to ensure safe and healthy working conditions for all employees at all times. Establishing a drug and alcohol testing policy and screening program is a vital component to ensure that your valued employees are free of any potential danger arising from injuries or accidents due to alcohol and drug misuse in the workplace.
Types of Drug Screening Programs
Determining what rules apply to your workplace policy and screening program will depend on how your company is regulated. Does your business conduct activities that are regulated by the Department of Transportation (DOT)? Does your company operate under a federal grant? Does your company operate in a state(s) that have mandatory or voluntary drug screening rules or court & agency decisions?
Department of Transportation (DOT) Policy Manuals and Programs
If your business operates within the modes regulated by the Department of Transportation (DOT), there are stringent guidelines that you must comply with. Not only does the DOT have its requirements, but you must also consider the laws and rules of the mode-specific agency.
Conspire! can help make sure you’re compliant with all laws and regulations.
Non-Regulated Employment Drug & Alcohol Screening
In addition to federal laws, employers must also be aware of any state-specific law that may impact their screening program.
Save Money: Two Big Reasons to Have a Written Drug Testing Policy
Employers can and should take advantage of the financial rewards recognized by defending unemployment claims and by being able to raise appropriate defenses to workers’ compensation claims and reducing your workers’ compensation premiums in many states that offer such benefit. Many employers have seen significant value and reap the rewards of a compliant workplace screening program by being prepared to defend these claims properly.
- Unemployment Insurance Claims
If you terminate an employee due to a positive drug test, the employee is likely to file an unemployment claim. This will cost you money. However, with a comprehensive drug-free workplace program and a written policy that is compliant with state law, you can potentially have the unemployment claim denied if the specific rules were followed in the states that offer this benefit.
When an employee is fired for testing positive or refusing to take a drug test, or when an employee quits rather than taking a test, you will argue that the discharge was for misconduct or that the quit was without good cause, both of which are grounds for denial of unemployment benefits. The written drug testing policy will back you up with your argument.
- Workers’ Compensation Claims
Drug use causes accidents and leads to workers’ compensation claims, which can cost your business a lot of money. Some states have what is called a rebuttable presumption of intoxication defense, where if you have a comprehensive drug-free workplace policy and your employee tests positive after an accident, it’s possible the workers’ compensation claim can be denied. If the employer can prove the employee was intoxicated or that they were impaired at the time of the accident, then the employer has cause to deny the claim for workers’ compensation benefits, so long as they followed the state-specific rules in that states that offer such benefit.
Writing your Workplace Policy
When providing drug-free workplace policies for our clients, Conspire! goes above and beyond. For each policy, we create and build a complete compliance manual. This comprehensive workplace drug and alcohol policy will give you everything you need to manage a comprehensive drug-free workplace program.
Contact us for more information.