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5 Legal Implications of Drug Testing at Your Small Business

According to the National Drug-Free Workplace Alliance, substance abuse is a major issue for small businesses across America. Some applicants associate drug screening with larger corporations, so they’ll apply to a smaller company under the impression they can still get away with recreational drug use. KRESS and other industry experts urge you to properly screen your team no matter the size of your business.  Failure to do so could burden companies with lawsuits, injuries, and bad reputations within their respective industries—a major issue for any small business working to become a leader. We urge companies to not cut corners. Drug testing can be a sensitive topic for smaller HR departments, so we consolidated five legal implications to consider before you test your team.

Test All Employees

Though only a handful of employees may raise suspicion, it is always best to stay unbiased when testing employees. If not all employees are tested, the company could potentially be accused of testing people based on race, gender, or disability, which could lead to an array of anti-discrimination lawsuits. Who knows—the workers you least expect could end up causing your business a major drug-related problem. Though there is no specific law stating that businesses must test all employees, it’s best to play it safe and not make assumptions.

 Drug Testing is Required for Companies That Receive Federal Funding

According to the Federal Drug-Free Workplace Act, businesses that receive at least $100,000 of federal funds are required to test all employees for drug use. There are several consequences for failing to comply with the policy:

  • Suspension of contract and grant activities
  • Federal contract may be terminated
  • Contractor or grantee prohibited from receiving future federal contracts or grants for up to five years

Offer of Employment Prior to Testing

Every business in the United States must follow the Americans with Disabilities Act if it employs 15 or more people. The act makes it illegal to test someone without providing a conditional offer of employment. Plan to test only if there is an offer in writing that has been sent to the job applicant.

Test with Integrity

 Documented consent is one of the most important aspects of conducting drug tests. It is not only invasive, but unlawful to acquire DNA samples of any kind without the approval of employees.

Review Your State’s Laws

Marijuana legalization has lead to changes in many states’ policies regarding the regulation of drug use within companies. Be sure to do proper research for any state your company employs people in regarding permitted testing methods and conditions for current and/or future employees. Drug testing laws for each state can be reviewed here.

Make sure your business’ substance abuse policies are up-to-date with high standards to attract the best talent and ensure your business is safe and respected. KRESS is ready to put procedures in place to properly screen your workforce and avoid any undue legal liabilities. Get started today if you’re ready for KRESS to set up a random drug testing program to ensure your company’s compliance.

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