Drug testing: Minimize lawsuit risk with smart policy — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily
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Drug testing: Minimize lawsuit risk with smart policy

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THE LAW. You have the right to demand a drug-free workplace, but employees also have reasonable rights to privacy. That's why drug testing and substance abuse prevention programs carry big-time legal risks if they're not managed properly. Based on court rulings, employers are typically safe to administer drug testing in three situations:


  • During the pre-employment stage, as long as your state law doesn't ban this practice. (The safest course is to withhold drug tests until after you've made a conditional job offer.)



  • During the fitness-for-duty test of an employee with performance problems.



  • After a preventable accident occurs.




Be aware, however, that about one-third of states have laws regulating employee drug testing. Check your state law before you start any testing program. (To discover your state's law, go to http://said.dol.gov and click on "State and...(register to read more)

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