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Avoid Drugs on the Job

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The Wall Street Journal recently reported that 2.3% of workers tested positive for drug use, according to a survey by Quest Laboratories, the largest drug testing facility in the country.

As marijuana becomes legal in more states for medical reasons or simply recreation, the reality is that usage will likely increase. The study indicated a 10% growth in workers who tested positive to drugs over the last year. If the sample predicts a 10% a year increase in the years to come, the problem will clearly intensify.

I believe that drugs of any kind should be prohibited from the workplace. Businesses will benefit by instituting a zero-tolerance policy. While marijuana may be legal at state levels, there are still federal laws against marijuana usage. Additionally, I have never seen anybody’s work improve while on marijuana, alcohol, or other illegal substances.

At businesses where I have had responsibilities for hiring, I have required a mandatory drug test before hiring. I also required periodic drug tests after being hired. For some positions, staff is required to have a physical examination. That’s a great time to do the next drug test.

Additionally, I maintain a business policy of no alcohol usage or smoking on the job. 

My experience has taught me that if policy is clear and communicated, staff will most likely to comply with abstinence from drugs, tobacco products or alcohol during the workday.

Paul wrote, “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit,” (Ephesians 5:18, NIV) Many in the world choose to embrace marijuana and other drugs as a lifestyle. In our businesses, we still have a choice to exclude those individuals from our businesses. If you do implement drug testing, make certain that you review and understand your federal and state employment laws to make certain you comply.



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