Taking a drug test might seem silly or a waste of money to the average person, but for most companies it’s serious business. Believe it or not, it’s not about invading your privacy or even passing judgment on lifestyle choices. There are legit numbers supporting drug-free work environments, and a slew of legal reasons to go with them.
From a legal stand point, drug use represents some legal problems. Drug users are 3.6 times more likely to have an accident at work. As you can imagine, that poses a huge liability problem for the company. Accidents at work can hurt other employees and customers, which is bad for business. Also, the Drug-free Workplace Act of 1988 says that employers who take federal grant money and tax credits must have a drug-free work environment. So some employers just flat-out can’t hire anyone with a positive drug test.
In addition to the legal reasons, there are business reasons for employers wanting a drug-free work environment. Substance abusers (compared to their drug-free co-workers) are one-third less productive, have health care costs that are three times higher, 500-percent more likely to file a claim for worker’s compensation and 10 times more likely to miss shifts.
While drug testing can be a point of contention for privacy reasons, it’s clear that employers have good cause to want to keep substance abuse out of the work place. The message is clear, if you’re looking for a job, the best way to ensure your job search ends in success is to make sure you’re able to pass any drug test.