Corporate Drug Testing
Your corporate drug testing policy needs to be clear and consider the fast changing legal landscape. A clear policy, along with the right lab testing partner, will ensure that your employees and candidates are treated fairly while protecting your business.
Is Legal Marijuana in Chicago the end of Corporate Drug Testing?
Marijuana (cannabis) has been decriminalized in Illinois and is legal for medical purposes. This creates some confusion for businesses looking to continue their corporate drug testing policies. The changes to these laws in Chicago over recent years mean employers need to re-evaluate their policies and adjust for the changing laws.
When evaluating your policies, consider the following:
- You may still be required to do testing. For example, jobs covered by the Department of Transportation or other safety organizations are still required to test for drugs and alcohol. Sensitive positions requiring detailed background checks will also likely mandate drug testing.
- Know the marijuana laws. Technically, all marijuana use is still illegal under federal laws. However, with states (like Illinois) relaxing recreational and medical use, your business needs to understand employee’s rights as well as your own rights and responsibilities as an employer and public company.
- To test or not to test for cannabis. TrueTest labs can set up special panels for your company that do not test for marijuana. You have the option. Even if cannabis use is not a deal breaker, you might want to test for it anyway, to balance answers given in the application or to address it in the interview.
While some people feel that these new marijuana laws might spell the end to corporate drug testing, drug use is still a problem. In Chicago alone, people aged twelve or more report heavy binge drinking (27%), other illicit drug like heroine (3%), pain relievers (non-medical use) (3%), and cocaine (2%) usage. (Source: Chicago Metro Sentinel Community Site (SCS) Drug Use Patterns and Trends, 2017).
Your Corporate Drug Testing Policy
There are two key parts to your corporate drug testing policy: pre-employment screening and ongoing random testing.
Pre-Employment Drug Testing
Testing for drugs is more than an ideological decision. Your employee’s safety, your customer’s well-being, and your intellectual property is at stake. Proper pre-employment drug screening can help protect everybody, especially your business.
Your Pre-Employment testing policy should consider the following:
- Regulated Industries. As mentioned above, certain jobs are regulated and require pre-employment screening for public safety.
- Unregulated but recommended. If a position involves safety, access to sensitive data, or large financial responsibilities, pre-employment screening is recommended.
Employment Drug Testing Policy
Businesses need to have a good Drug Testing Policy in place. There are several risk mitigating reasons for testing, from reasonable suspicion to accidents to simple random testing. When creating your policy, it should have the following key components:
- Written Policy. Have a written policy that is included in the employee manual as well as someplace at the business that is easily accessible. Your written plan should include key definitions, clear rules, and defined consequences for breaking those rules.
- Proper Screening. As a lab testing facility, we can’t say enough about doing a proper screening. Without proper procedures, care, and expertise, your testing results can end up being useless or even inadmissible in a court of law. Don’t take the chance.
- Communication. Ensure that your whole team understands the policy and the reasoning behind it.
- Random Testing. If you will be implementing random drug testing, make sure you include this and the procedures in our policy.
The Right Drug Testing Lab Partner
TrueTest Labs has been helping our corporate partners with their drug testing needs since 2012. We can design custom testing solutions for your business and help you ensure that your employees are screened and that your customers are protected. Contact us to today to learn about our corporate drug testing services.