Whether you are looking for a new job, or already working for a company, being aware of the whole employment drug testing process is essential. Regardless of whether you smoke weed occasionally or follow a “perfect” lifestyle with no alcohol or drugs, you could always be at risk, and there are certainly a lot of things to discuss on this theme.
Pre-Employment Drug Testing
Many companies conduct surprise drug tests right after their recruitment interview. There is a variety of different tests from ones done by blood, urine or hair samples. The first thing you should know is that as an employee you should give your explicit consent, otherwise the employer won’t be able to do anything. This is the exact reason why most of the employers conduct their first drug test right after the recruitment interview has ended as that leaves the candidate with little to no choice. You have already gone through an interview; most people will certainly concede and go with anything the employer wants at this point.
Why Do Companies Do Drug Tests?
Obviously, the most common argument would be that drugs essentially impair your ability to conduct your work safely. That being said, while the latter is true, the results of a drug test don’t necessarily lead to the same conclusion. Smoking pot, for example, would leave traces in your hair, teeth, and blood for the next month. The substance will only impair you for a few hours at best though. You might have smoked a joint the previous night, waking up, going to work to find a drug test waiting for you. You have already given your consent for spot checks during the recruitment process. You would be fully capable of doing your work, however now you find yourself at the risk of being fired, because of an innocent joint the previous night.
That certainly leads us to the question of whether or not the employer would be right to fire people on that premise. Obviously, if you come to work drunk and incapable of working, then you should handle the respective consequences, however, the tests don’t show objective results in the long run.
If a person fails a drug test, the immediate response of the employer shouldn’t be punished but rather doing an investigation. Making sure that the person is not, in fact, an addict that needs all the help and support they could get or just an enthusiast that occasionally blows off steam by doing drugs, which isn’t safe either.
The performance of the company should be a priority, but it shouldn’t be put on top of the list as it is the people that lead to the high performance in the first place.