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Workplace Drug Tests: Does Every Role Need Testing?

When talking about workplace drug tests, there are a number of considerations that come into play. In the state of Texas, for example, private employers face little to no limitations in adopting their own policies, but they must do so carefully. Because of the number of factors included, companies should only proceed after considering their options.

If your company plans to implement drug testing, here are some components for your policy as well as an answer to the question of whether or not everyone needs to be tested.


Writing your drug testing policy

One of the most important considerations in writing your policy is focusing on why you have it. You don’t want to throw the language into a handbook with an attitude of ‘because I said so’ and hope that’s enough. By demonstrating the safety reasons for implementing drug testing and how productivity can be improved, you’re providing a ‘why’ for employees.

Next, you have to determine what exactly is considered a violation. This again is important for your team, so there is no nuance in what is and is not acceptable. If a drug test is failed, you must define the disciplinary and potential rehabilitation options.

Under Texas and federal law, you don’t have to provide the option for rehabilitation, meaning a violation of your policy can result in termination. It’s up to you to decide how you want to proceed with a violation and if that includes options for redemption.


Defining who you plan to test

A common question for organizations is if you need to test everyone. Legally, the answer is no. Deciding whether or not you want to test everyone is a company decision. Many organizations choose positions that can have direct safety concerns if an employee is impaired, including drivers and machine operators.

The key when only testing some is to cover specific job categories to avoid the appearance of personal targeting. The policy should always be enforced across all departments evenly. This is crucial to avoid potential legal action.

Because of this, deciding to test everyone can be the safest and wisest choice for your organization. This way, everyone is included and under the same policy. When employees are hired, they understand the expectations across the board.

At Sterling Personnel, we believe it’s important to screen and test all our applicants, regardless of position, to guarantee results to our clients.


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