Understanding the Drug-Free Workplace Act and Who it Affects

As a business owner, you may feel that you don’t need to worry about employee’s using drugs in the workplace. Small business owners don’t often think that their employees would use drugs or that their new hires would come with baggage.

Businesses that don’t have drug-free workplace programs attract workers who are most likely to abuse the owner’s trust and use drugs and alcohol. Studies have shown that 44% of full-time employed drug users and 36% of heavy drinkers work for businesses with less than 25 employees, while 43% of drug users and 47% of heavy drinkers work for companies that have between 25 and 500 employees. These statistics should encourage you to have a drug-free program in place if one doesn’t already exist. But did you know that some workplaces are required to have a drug-free program?

The Basics of the Drug-Free Workplace Act

What is the Act?

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

What does a drug-free workplace mean under the Act?

Companies must take steps to fulfill the drug-free workplace requirement. These include:

  • Creating a drug-free education program that raises employee awareness. The program should have information on the specifics of the drug-free workplace program, why drug abuse in the workplace is hazardous, what counseling, rehab, or assistance programs are available to employees, and consequences that employees will face if they violate the policy.
  • Publishing and distributing a policy statement to employees. The policy should clearly state that manufacturing, distributing, possessing, or using controlled substances in the workplace is unacceptable and should also outline what will happen to employees who violate the program.
  • Notifying the contracting agency of any criminal workplace drug violations. This must be done within 10 days of receiving notice of a conviction.
  • Informing 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 convicted of a workplace drug violation.
  • 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 does not comply with the Drug-Free Workplace Act?

Your company will be penalized if you fail to establish a drug-free workplace following the above criteria. Penalties may include loss of payment, contract suspension or termination, or banning 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?

Businesses who receive a federal grant or contract is subject to regular audits. During these reviews, auditors will make sure that the company has a sufficient drug-free workplace program and that all of the Act requirements are satisfied.

How can I make sure my business complies?

We have extensive experience helping businesses 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 a plan that fits your needs.

TEST SMARTLY LABS OFFERS ACCURATE AND CONFIDENTIAL DRUG TESTING SOLUTIONS. IF YOUR BUSINESS IS IN NEED OF A RELIABLE DRUG TESTING PROGRAM, PLEASE CONTACT TEST SMARTLY LABS TODAY.

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