can-an-employer-drug-test-after-hiring

Can an Employer Drug Test After Hiring?

Employers and business owners have a legal responsibility to provide their employees with a safe and healthy working environment. Subsequently, employees and workers have an obligation to take responsible care for their safety as well as others in the workplace. It is under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (1994). Hence, it is now common for companies and businesses to have pre-employment drug and alcohol testing. It is to prevent the possibility of hiring workers that have any drug or alcohol use and abuse issues that can disrupt the workplace. However, many employees nowadays ask the question: “can an employer drug test after hiring?” The answer is dependent on whether the company or business has an existing workplace drug and alcohol policy that clearly defines the procedures of testing even after hiring.

Moreover, find out how the workplace breathalysers from Breathalysers Australia can further help with efficient breath alcohol testing in the workplace.

Can an Employer Drug Test After Hiring: Who requires drug and alcohol testing even after the pre-employment screening?

Can an employer drug test after hiring? Not all companies and employers require their employees to test for drugs and alcohol. However, companies and businesses in some industries are required to have an implemented workplace drug and alcohol policy. This requirement is essential for safety-critical industries. The reason being, it is to test aspiring job applicants and current employees in specific roles like: 

  • Driving
  • Safety 
  • Defence 
  • Transit 
  • Aviation 

Furthermore, safety-critical industries that often require workplace drug and alcohol testing for their employees are:  

  • Healthcare (hospitals and clinics)
  • Education (schools and universities)
  • Transportation
  • Manufacturing
  • Mining
  • Federal, state, and county applicants and employees

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Can an employer drug test after hiring? Create and implement a Workplace Drug and Alcohol Policy

Can an employer drug test after hiring an employee that passed pre-employment drug and alcohol testing? The answer is yes, but only if there are certain agreements beforehand. Employers must create and implement a workplace drug and alcohol policy that clearly outlines all workplace drug and alcohol testing protocols and procedures. It is imperative to include as well how and when it can occur and who will undergo the workplace drug and alcohol testing. Moreover, employers can also legally require an employee to test for drugs and alcohol if there is reasonable suspicion. If the employee in question is showing signs of drug or alcohol impairment while working, the employer may undergo an investigation on the matter. Furthermore, it is most often certain to test employees if there has been a workplace accident that drugs or alcohol may be the likely cause.

The two most common types of workplace drug and alcohol policies are:

  1. Zero tolerance policy – If the company policy includes zero tolerance. If an employee tests positive, termination of their employment will be immediate, as stated in the policy. 
  2. Second chance policy – If the company policy offers a second chance policy. The employee is required to complete a substance abuse program. According to the implemented company policy, if the employee does not or is unable to finish the program, they may be up for dismissal from their job.

Can an Employer Drug Test After Hiring: Guidelines on Drug and Alcohol Testing Employees

Companies and employers should keep in mind that they convey their drug and alcohol policies as straightforward as possible. Employees should be able to understand the procedures and requirements precisely. Thus, both employers and employees are clear about the company’s goals regarding workplace drug and alcohol testing. So, can an employer drug test after hiring an employee? The answer is yes, and employees may even be selected for random drug testing, as stated in the company policy. If the company has justifiable reasons to believe that an employee may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol on the job, for-cause drug testing may be permitted. Furthermore, if excessive absence from work or tardiness is becoming an issue, or if the employee is not performing their work duties, they may need to undergo workplace drug and alcohol testing. 

Why can an employer drug test after hiring? Employees may have requirements to undergo workplace drug and alcohol testing before they may be up for promotion. In addition, when workplace accidents occur, or as a continuing condition of employment. Furthermore, if an employee refuses a drug or alcohol test even after agreeing to the policy, there could be means for disciplinary actions. Consequently, dismissal from their job may even be an option.

Drug and Alcohol Testing Methods for the Workplace

Now that there has been a definitive answer to the question: “can an employer drug test after hiring”. It can pay dividends for employers to invest in high-quality equipment for their workplace drug and alcohol testing requirements. Firstly, there are many facilities or mobile testing units in Australia that offer urine drug tests. It is the most common method for drug testing as it is the quickest and least invasive. Blood testing, though more accurate, takes longer to process and requires a more invasive method for extracting samples. Secondly, alcohol breath testing using breathalysers is the most cost-effective method for detecting alcohol consumption. Breathalysers Australia offers various workplace breathalysers, including the world-renowned BACtrack workplace breathalysers. These highly effective devices include:

  • The BACtrack Mobile Gen2 – this breathalyser is ideal for remote workplace alcohol testing to achieve high levels of accuracy and compliance.
  • The BACtrack S80 Pro Gen2 – this breathalyser is the best for commercial environments requiring an accurate, consistent, and robust breath testing device.
  • The Alcovisor Mercury Touchscreen – this breathalyser is most suitable for high throughput, high compliance workplace environments.

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About BACtrack Breathalysers at Breathalysers Australia

All the workplace breathalysers from Breathalysers Australia have professional-grade accuracy. It is because they have fuel cell sensors. These sensors are the same sensors you can find in breathalysers that law enforcement officers use. Moreover, they have a one-button operation feature that can process Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) results within 10 to 15 seconds. Thus, making these devices quick and easy to operate. Furthermore, these breathalysers can conduct alcohol breath tests up to 1,500 times with a single set of AA batteries. So, can an employer drug test after hiring? Yes, and alcohol testing is made even easier and more convenient with the workplace breathalysers from Breathalysers Australia.

Conclusion

In conclusion, when can an employer drug test after hiring? There are rules for implementing drug and alcohol testing in the workplace. The policy must outline workplace drug and alcohol screening terms and conditions. As an employer, you should obtain written consent from all employees. This requirement ensures that all workplace drug and alcohol testing has grounds for legality. The pre-employment agreement will form the basis of advance consent for either periodic or random drug and alcohol testing in the workplace. Moreover, mobile testing units (for drug testing) and BACtrack breathalysers at Breathalysers Australia (for alcohol breath testing) are the go-to methods that greatly aid in workplace drug and alcohol testing.