When it comes to workplace substance abuse, small businesses have major disadvantages. They are less likely to have programs in place to combat the problem, yet they are more likely to be the “employer-of-choice” for illicit drug users. Employees who are unable to adhere to a drug-free workplace policy seek employment with organizations that either do not perform pre-employment drug testing or do not have policies in place. The cost of one error caused by an impaired and/or under-the-influence employee could seriously devastate a small-sized organization.
Statistics for Full-Time Employed Current Illicit Drug Users:
Symptoms of Workplace Substance Abuse
No organizations, regardless of their size or location, are immune to the countless problems that substance abuse can cause. Most individuals who abuse alcohol, prescription medication, and illicit drugs are employed. When they arrive for work, they do not leave their problems at the doorstep of their employer’s business. The longer these issues go uncorrected, the more costly and time-consuming it is to get one’s workplace in order. Your organization cannot afford to ignore this liability.
Bearing the Brunt of the Problem
Everyone involved in owning and operating a business pays for workplace alcohol and drug abuse. Some costs are obvious, such as increased insurance premiums, absences, accidents, and errors. Other costs, such as low morale and high illness rates, are less apparent; however, the effects are equally harmful economically and to the reputation of the organization.
Substance Abuse and Drug-Testing Policies
Drug-testing policies protect both employees and employers. It is important for employers to note that drug testing without a drug-testing policy—even if an employee is suspected of having substance abuse problem—exposes them to a number of significant liability and legal vulnerabilities.
A written substance abuse (drug-free workplace) policy is the foundation of a comprehensive drug-free workplace program. Every employer’s written policy should be unique and tailored to meet its specific needs; however, all effective policies have a few aspects in common.
Employers should also note that sharing their policy with all employees is essential, and many businesses find it helpful to ask for feedback from employees during the initial policy development stage.
Workplace Drug Testing
Under the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, some federal contractors and all federal grantees must agree to provide drug-free workplaces as a condition of receiving a contract or grant. Under most circumstances, employers have the right to test prospective and current employees for a wide variety of substances; however, it is important that employers familiarize themselves with the various state and federal laws that may apply to their type of business before designing and implementing substance abuse and drug-testing policies.
The majority of employers across the U.S. are not required by law to drug test, and some state and county governments have statutes that limit or prohibit workplace drug testing. Employers should make appropriate use of drug testing, and make sure that their policies and procedures are in compliance with state and federal laws. The best way to ensure this is to retain a qualified and competent background screening and drug test provider.
One out of every six crimes occurs in the workplace and homicide is the second leading cause of workplace death in the U.S.
National Credit Verification Service reports that 25% of the MBA degrees it verifies on resumes are false.
72% of shrinkage is due to employee theft.
34% of all job applications contain lies.
30% of small business failure is caused by employee theft.