What is the Drug-Free Workplace Act & Who Does it Affect?

As a business owner, you may feel that you don’t have much need to worry about employee drug use in the workplace. Small business owners often think “I know and trust my employees!” and “None of my hires would risk drug use!”

But small businesses and other companies that don’t have drug-free workplace programs in place actually attract the workers who are most likely to abuse the owner’s trust and use drugs and alcohol. In fact, 44% of full-time employed drug users and 36% of heavy drinkers work for businesses with 24 or fewer employees, while 43% of drug users and 47% of heavy drinkers work for companies with 25 – 499 employees.

These numbers should have any business owner realizing the benefits of implementing a drug-free workplace program. But did you know that some workplaces are required to have a drug-free program in place? Read more about the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 to see if it applies to you!

The Basics of the Drug-Free Workplace Act

What is the Act?

The Drug-Free Workplace Act requires certain federal contractors and all federal grantees to establish a drug-free workplace.

What does a drug-free workplace entail under the Act?Kansas City | What is the Drug-Free Workplace Act?

Organizations must take certain steps to satisfy the drug-free workplace requirement. These include:

  • Publishing and distributing a policy statement to employees. The statement should make clear that manufacturing, distributing, possessing, or using controlled substances in the workplace is not acceptable and should also outline what consequences employees will face if they violate the policy.
  • Creating a drug-free education program that raises employee awareness. The program should include information on the specifics of the drug-free workplace program, why drug abuse in the workplace is dangerous, what drug counseling, rehab, or assistance programs are available to employees, and penalties that employees may face if they violate the policy.
  • Telling employees about their status as a mandated drug-free workplace. Workers must be aware that as long as they are employed with a company that has a federal grant or contract, they must follow the drug-free policy and notify their employer within 5 calendar days if he or she is convicted of a workplace drug violation.
  • Notifying the contracting agency of any criminal workplace drug violations. This must be done within 10 days of receiving notice of a conviction.
  • Penalizing any employee who violates the drug-free workplace policy. This can include making the employee participate in a drug assistance program.

What happens if my business fails to comply with the Drug-Free Workplace Act?

Your company will be penalized if you fail to establish a drug-free workplace as specified above. Penalties may include loss of payment for contract or grant activities, suspension or termination of the contract or grant, or the banning of the contractor or grantee from participating in any future federal contracts or grants for up to 5 years.

How is the Drug-Free Workplace Act Enforced?

Business who receive a federal grant or contract are subject to regular audits. During these reviews, auditors will ensure that the company has an appropriate drug-free workplace program and that all requirements of the Act are satisfied.

How can I make sure my business complies?

Test Smartly Labs of Kansas City North can serve as your drug-free workplace program partner. We have extensive experience helping businesses north of the river achieve compliance with the Act. Even if you are not required by federal law to establish a drug-free workplace, we can help you create and carry out a plan that fits your needs.

To get started on your drug-free workplace program today, call Test Smartly Labs of Kansas City North at 
(816) 399-4597.

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