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.

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Why Your Workplace Should Be Doing Random Drug Testing

With new and powerful drugs increasing in popularity all the time and positive drug tests on the rise, fortunately it seems that many businesses are starting to catch on to the benefits of drug testing: a majority (58%) of businesses are conducting workplace drug or alcohol testing, according to a 2014 survey.

Still, not nearly enough are using random drug testing: 71% use pre-employment drug testing, 51% post-accident, and only 47% random testing (with reasonable suspicion testing also lagging troublesomely behind at 35%).

This is unfortunate because random drug testing can be the most effective form of workplace drug testing. Read on below to see why you should consider adding random drug testing to your workplace drug-free program!

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Choosing the Right Panels For Your Company’s Drug Testing Program

Your employees can be your greatest asset–or your greatest liability. The average employer actually pays twice his employees’ salary in taxes, benefits, and training costs. And the cost for replacing a salaried employee is equivalent to six to nine months of their salary. If you’re going to invest in employees, you should make sure that you’re getting your money’s worth out of them.

One of the best ways to secure and protect your workforce investment is with drug testing services. Today, Test Smartly Labs will take a look at drug testing options for businesses in North Kansas City, Gladstone, and the Northland.

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Beat the Cheat: Drug Test Cheat Myths & “Cheat Cocktails”

As drug test providers and collection specialists for employees and individuals, we have encountered a number of drug test cheat myths over the years. From detox shampoos, shaved heads, or dyed hair to “beat” hair follicle drug testing to attempted sample swaps during urine drug tests, we know how to bust drug test cheats.

Still, there are countless drug test cheat myths that never seem to die — and although some are harmless (although gross), others can actually be dangerous to your health. In particular, the “cheat cocktails” that people drink in their drug cheat attempts are worrisome.

Here’s the low down on these supposed drug test cheat and why they don’t work.

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How to Use Instant Drug Tests

In our last post, we explained why instant drug tests aren’t named correctly — due to the high incidence of false negatives, false positives, and the issues of legality, these “tests” should really be used as instant drug screens.

What exactly do we mean by using an instant drug screen in your workplace drug testing? Here are our tips for using instant drug tests more effectively.

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3 Reasons you Can’t Skip Background Checks

Hiring is an in-depth process. It involves legal considerations and requires you to squeeze the interview process into your already full schedule.

Beyond gathering applications and scheduling interviews, there are several details that can’t be forgotten. Background checks are a basic part of the hiring process.

Some employers think that background checks don’t apply to their line of business or they aren’t worth the time. The truth is that background checks should be just as important to you as writing the perfect job description or sending applicants through three rounds of interviews.

We work with companies completing background checks for pre-employment screening. Since we work closely with hiring companies, we understand how vital these background checks are. For those of you who aren’t so sure about this process, we’ve made a list of the 3 reasons you can’t pass on background checks during the hiring process.

job applicant background check

Why you Can’t Ignore Background Checks

1) Avoid Litigation

All employers should be aware of negligent hiring liability. This legal concept holds employers responsible for what they should know about employees. That means that if an employee causes injury, the injured may be able to claim that the company was negligent in hiring. Your hiring process will be examined. Did you follow the proper steps, including background checks, before hiring?

Employers can avoid costly, time-consuming legal issues by gathering all the right information about potential employees. The more information you know, the better prepared you are in case an employee causes injury. Completing background checks and following the proper documentation can save you time and money. If you need help implementing background checks into your hiring process, Test Smartly Labs of Kansas City can help.

2) Reduce Risk

Within a large applicant pool are several qualified candidates, several unqualified individuals, and a few risky applicants. Hiring managers need tools to sort through that group of candidates and weed out the potential risks. Background checks can help employers determine which candidates may have a dangerous background or a propensity for fraud or violence. The simple factors found through background checks will help employers make better decisions to reduce risks of hiring unfit employees.

3) Reduce Costs

Background checks save money in more than one way. First, they make the hiring process more efficient. Avoid wasting time and resources by using background checks to narrow down your list of applicants. The pre-employment process also helps the bottom line in the long-run. Selecting the proper candidate, as opposed to an ill-fitting or risky one, will reduce the risk of loss due to unproductive or legally dangerous employees.

Drug Use at Work Decreasing

Fewer Americans are testing positive for illegal substances, but use of prescription medication is up.

The results from a recent study reveal that drug use at work is on the decline, but prescription drug abuse at work may be on the rise. The Wall Street Journal reports the results from a recent study.

The study reviewed over 125 million urine drug tests that were administered during the last 25 man prescription medicine drug use

Drug Use at Work: The Results

The first statistic that catches our eye reveals that fewer drug tests are showing up positive now than in years past. Last year 3.5% of samples came back positive, a sharp decline from the 13.6% positive samples in 1988.

With that much data, there are so many stats to share. Here are the trends that caught our attention:

  • Positive tests for amphetamines increased between 2002 and 2012
  • Positive results for painkillers increased between 2005 and 2012
  • Positive results for marijuana and cocaine have decreased

This mix in trends is intriguing, especially when you consider other studies. Several independent studies find that marijuana use has increased in recent years. It’s hard to say why these results conflict.

Investigating Drug Use at Your Workplace

Learning about the trends of drug use by workers across the country is definitely interesting, but it doesn’t give you an accurate picture of the drug use happening at your workplace.

To find the stats of drug use at your company, you can implement a drug testing policy that makes sense for your industry. You may need drug testing for pre-employment processes or after on-the-job accidents. Some companies implement random drug testing for employees. Your policy must comply with federal regulations.

If you want to learn how drug use at your workplace compares with the stats across the country, call Test Smartly Labs to learn more about drug testing for the workplace.

More Than an Interview: Screening Processes That Diversify the Hiring Process

Employers are constantly challenged by the recruiting and hiring process. Determining the criteria for hiring is usually simple and straightforward, but deciding how to screen potential candidates is often a bigger challenge.

Refreshing yourself on the possible screening processes is valuable. Exploring new procedures keeps your company ahead of the recruiting game — as it helps you make the best hiring decisions. As you know, the employees help determine the success of the business.

hiring process screening

Below are a few screening processes that companies use to aid them in the hiring process.

Hiring Processes

1. Online assessment

Since we spend a significant amount of time online, there is a wealth of information about us on the various sites we use to browse and communicate. Many companies are now utilizing some form of online personality assessment. Some human resources departments review candidates social media presence with their consent. This form of a background check is becoming more common — third parties may often be involved, too. Legal counsel should be involved — any policy involving online social media screening should be written and communicated to the appropriate people.

2. Psychometric test

Companies often use psychometric tests when hiring for upper-level, executive positions. These tests are often costly, but their results can be telling. These personality tests help hiring managers identify the candidate who will best fit the open position. This method is based on the idea that matching the person to the job will benefit the candidate and the organization.

3. Talent assessments

Talent assessments are more directly linked to specific tasks and duties. These tests attempt to determine the potential hire’s performance. Online assessments are often used for quick and convenient testing.

Hiring Process: Precautions

When using any of the above processes, an organization should do the following in order to have optimal results.

  • Know the existing laws and make sure all policies are aligned with the legal requirements. If you’re including drug screening in your pre-employment process, make sure your processes meet the legal requirements. Test Smartly Labs can help.
  • Understand the needs of your business, department and positions so you can choose the appropriate evaluation for each open position.
  • Supervise any screening tests or evaluations.
  • Evaluate and review the effectiveness of different screening methods.

3 Benefits of Background Checks

When the President’s twitter feed is full of pushes for background screening, you know it’s become a hot button issue.

While we hate and mourn the reasons that background screening is elevated to a national spotlight right now, we are pleased to see some of the benefits coming to light.

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