Testy, Testy

When It's Right

How can you know if a drug-testing program will ultimately benefit your business? In the end, it depends on your ability to accept the results of the test and follow through on them. When considering pre-employment or random testing, says Abrahamson, "Employers need to ask themselves, 'Will this get me where I want to go?' "

If you think it might be right for your business, make sure you do it right. First, see a lawyer who can explain the workplace drug-testing laws in your state, because some states have eliminated or restricted certain types of testing. Second, check to see that the drug-testing company you choose is certified federally as well as in your state. This is important, because choosing a company with poorly designed tests can lead to false-positive results and potential liabilities. Also, know that even though scientific advances have made hair and sweat testing available, urine testing remains the most reliable and accurate method for drug screening. Finally, as you set up your program, follow the drug-testing guidelines suggested by the Department of Health and Human Services. And make sure your employees understand the policy.

Next Step

  • www.os.dhhs.gov: Federal regulations and articles about drug testing in the workplace
  • www.drugfreeworkplace.org: Information about workplace drug testing programs, surveys and opportunities for contact with other entrepreneurs
  • www.lindesmith.org: Links to recent news about drug policies, a library database, articles and pamphlets written by staff researchers and experts

Contact Sources

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Chris Penttila is a Washington, DC-based freelance journalist who covers workplace issues on her blog, Workplacediva.blogspot.com.

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This article was originally published in the June 2000 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Testy, Testy.

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