How Does the ADA Affect My Ability to Conduct Workplace Drug Testing?

Workplace drug testing is an important tool. It preserves a safer and more efficient work environment. In some cases, an effective workplace drug testing policy can literally save lives.

But workplace drug testing policies require time and care to implement. One factor that employers must consider is whether or not their workplace drug testing program complies with American Disability Act, or ADA, guidelines.
What is the ADA, and how does it impact your workplace drug testing? Test Smartly Labs of Kansas City North shares what employers need to know.

The ADA & Workplace Drug Testing

The ADA & Random Drug Testing

The ADA ensures that everyone receives fair treatment in the workplace. Among other provisions, the ADA provides that employers may not discriminate against recovering drug addicts and alcoholics. This means that employers cannot target workplace drug testing guidelines specifically at employees who are known to have had substance abuse problems in the past; in other words, if random testing is a part of your workplace drug testing program, it must be truly random, not used to target recovering substance users.
Fortunately, Test Smartly Labs of Kansas City North is seasoned in implementing random workplace drug testing. As an independent and impartial third party provider, we can handle all name randomization and prevent claims of discrimination.

The ADA & Prescription Drug UsePrescription Drugs

The ADA may also protect an employee who uses prescription medications to treat their disability. In fact, the employer may be required to come up with a reasonable accommodation for that employee so they can perform their responsibilities even while taking a drug that may affect their capabilities.
This doesn’t mean that your workplace drug testing program can’t include prescription drugs, however. Since Test Smartly Labs of Kansas City works with a Medical Review Officer to confirm all non-negatives, we can confirm if your employee was prescribed the medication they’re on and whether they’re actually taking the correct amount of each prescription, or whether they’re abusing the substance.

The ADA & Illicit Drug Use

The ADA does not protect disabled persons who are currently using illegal drugs. An employer who holds a reasonable belief that an employee is impaired by illegal drug use is within their legal rights to require reasonable suspicion workplace drug testing. To make the request non-discriminatory the employer must have impartial evidence that suggests current or ongoing use of illegal substances and not merely knowledge that the employee has addiction issues.
Test Smartly Labs of Kansas City North can help design and implement a reasonable suspicion drug testing program, including providing managerial training so that supervisors understand what qualifies as reasonable suspicion.

Partner With a Kansas City Workplace Drug Testing Expert

Test Smartly Labs of Kansas City North can serve as your comprehensive drug testing partner. From reasonable suspicion to random testing to pre-employment screenings and more, we cover all your workplace drug testing needs.

Start your program today by calling (816) 399-4597.

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