Naperville Business Lawyer Talks About a New Workplace Drug Study

drug, Naperville business law attorneyWhen you own and operate a business, it is very likely that you rely on a team of employees to provide the best possible service to your customers and clients. It is your responsibility to recruit, hire, train, and maintain a staff whose values and vision are in line with yours as well as that of your company.

As a business law attorney, I have helped many of my commercial clients develop employment policies designed to create stability and a safe, healthy work environment. In many cases, these policies include employee drug testing, both on a pre-employment and an ongoing basis. Proponents of employee drug testing believe that such protocols help promote workplace safety and reduce potential liability for employers. A new study, however, suggests that drug use is on the rise among American workers with positive tests reaching a 12-year high.

Troubling Numbers

Quest Diagnostics, a New Jersey-based medical laboratory chain, recently released the results of an analysis of more than 10 million work-related drug screenings. Urine tests—which are most commonly used for pre-employment drug testing—showed an increase in positive results, with 4.2 percent of tests coming back positive for marijuana, cocaine, heroin, or methamphetamines in 2016 compared to 4.0 percent in 2015. Positive tests have not been so prevalent since 2004 when workers tested positive 4.5 percent of the time.

Saliva testing is used more often to detect recent marijuana use, and those numbers showed an even greater increase, jumping nearly 75 percent in three years to 8.9 percent in 2016 from 5.1 percent in 2013. Of course, with more and more states becoming increasingly lenient on marijuana use, including several which have legalized recreational use, few experts are surprised at the resulting increase. The same cannot be said about cocaine or meth, however, as the use of those drugs is also on the rise.

Workplace Drug Policies

In Illinois, a person can legally use marijuana only if he or she is duly registered with the state’s medical cannabis program, but there is no requirement for employers to be lenient, even for program participants. State law still permits employers to enforce drug-free workplaces, as long as such policies are applied equally to all employees and in a non-discriminatory manner. Pre-employment drug screenings are allowed, and employers may conduct random drug testing as part of an established workplace policy. Employers may also require drug testing following an on-the-job accident or injury.

We Can Help

If you are considering developing a new drug testing policy for your company, contact an experienced Naperville business law attorney for guidance. We will work with you in creating a policy that is fair and reasonable so that you can protect your business and your workers. Call 630-756-1160 for a confidential consultation at The Gierach Law Firm today.



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