Why Random Drug Testing Makes Sense for Healthcare Employers

While mandatory random employee drug testing is common in safety-sensitive positions, the vast majority of healthcare professionals who are responsible for patient care are not subject to any kind of monitoring for substance abuse. 

Drug testing remains an essential part of workplace safety, providing numerous benefits to employers, regardless of industry. While random drug testing provides an extra layer of safety, it is not very common in the healthcare industry.

In the early years of state medical marijuana rulemaking, the language of the laws largely excluded the workplace. It is safe to say that tide has turned, and employers now face limitations unlike they ever have before. State-specific rules related to medical and personal use of marijuana are changing at a very rapid pace, and the language of these laws differ from each other significantly.  Employers must be sure their drug testing programs accurately reflect the rules that impact them in each of the states’ where they operate.

6 Common Methods for Employee Drug Testing

With our nation on the heels of an opioid epidemic, states continuing to legalize marijuana use, drug testing positivity rates continuing to rise, and the perception of a dwindling job applicant pool, some employers are challenging the entire idea of performing drug testing in their workplaces. Are there still benefits for conducting employee drug testing?

Marijuana Laws & Disability Discrimination: What Employers Need to Know

More than half of the states in our country have introduced and implemented laws authorizing the use of marijuana for medical use. A ‘growing’ handful of states have also authorized the personal (‘recreational’) use of marijuana.  These state laws are in direct conflict with the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA)(21 USC §812), which still holds that the possession of marijuana is a crime.

Healthcare is the fastest-growing sector of the U.S. economy, employing over 18 million workers. Healthcare workers face a wide range of hazards on the job, including sharps injuries, harmful exposures to chemicals and hazardous drugs, back injuries, violence, and stress. Drug use and abuse in the workplace not only puts the employees and patients at risk, it leaves the employers vulnerable to negligence claims and costs.  A strong and defensible drug and alcohol testing program and policy, including a robust random testing program, helps protect employers and their bottom line. 

Vermont’s recreational marijuana law, Act 86, goes into effect on July 1, 2018. While employers still broadly retain their same rights to test for marijuana, prohibit it’s use in the workplace, and discipline based on a marijuana-positive drug test, Act 86 brings about nuances to workplace drug testing in the state that employers should be aware of.

Last week, drug testing expert Nina M. French from the Current Consulting Group presented the important changes affecting healthcare employers’ drug testing programs during PreCheck’s webinar. In case you missed the live presentation, a recorded version is now available from our Resources Library.

Healthcare providers play a critical role in today’s society – providing care for hundreds of thousands of Americans each year. As an industry, they have seen firsthand the devastating impact of drug use and abuse today. But with higher than average rates of use and addiction in their own employer population, how are employers in healthcare able to manage their own workforce? 

The legalization of marijuana and its use in the workplace continues to be a hot topic for employers. As of February 1, 2018, Maine’s recreational marijuana law prohibits employers from taking adverse employment actions for off-premises marijuana use.

5 Healthcare Talent Screening Best Practices

The healthcare industry is one of the most complex and highly regulated, which means employers have a greater responsibility to ensure a safe workplace environment not just for their own staff, but also for patients. The past decade has seen advancements in technology and best practices for the industry, with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) placing greater emphasis on quality of care and patient safety. Industry regulators have provided updated guidance and newer technologies have allowed leading organizations and systems to improve the efficiency of their screening efforts.

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