• Elements of an Effective Drug-free Workplace Policy

    The following are the six basic elements of an effective drug-free workplace policy.

    1. Background

    This part should state how the policy was developed. Was the policy developed through a union of representatives or employees, through the compliance of the state law, or through the consultation of the other businessmen in the same industry? This will give a clear idea about the main purpose of the drug-free workplace program and will lead to the success of creating an effective drug testing policy.

    2. Goals

    Every organization’s goal in creating a drug-free workplace program should be clear and specific. There can be many reasons why an organization would implement a drug testing policy, such as to eliminate work hazards related to drug abuse; minimize absenteeism; comply with the Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs; or to promote good health among employees. Keep your goals in sight and both your company and your employees will reap the rewards.

    3. Definitions, expectations, and prohibitions

    The drug-free workplace policy should clearly define the meaning of substance abuse, drug misuse, and many other terms that will serve as the bases of adjudication. It should also contain the organization’s expectations, such as the expected employee behaviors and activities that will help in achieving the program’s goals.  It should also state the date that the policy would take effect, the person responsible for carrying out and enforcing the policy, the employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement if there is any, and the exact prohibitions. The covered workers may include any individual working in the organization, such as the executive management, managers, supervisors, full-time and part-time employees, contractors, volunteers, interns, and applicants. The policy should also determine when it will apply. For most organizations, a drug-free workplace policy should apply during working hours, whether or not the employee is on call, paid standby, or when she or he is on a sponsored activity.

    4. Implementation approaches benefits and assurances

    The drug-free workplace policy should be specific to its activities to ensure that employees will comply with the policy. For instance, the policy may include monthly guidance counseling, workshop, training, retreat, and drug testing. It should also declare how the organization will ensure confidentiality on employees’ records, particularly in the case of drug testing. The policy should ensure safe and confidential communication between the management and employees. Additionally, it should assure the provision of assistance to employees who seek for help for drug treatment and recovery.

    5. Consequences and Appeals

    The drug-free workplace policy should define the consequences that an employee will face in case s/he violates the policy. Violation penalties may be influenced by the existing law or regulations which can vary from state to state. When laying out the consequences and appeals, an organization can refer to the following questions.

    1. What will be considered a violation?
    2. Which employees will be covered?
    3. What disciplinary measures will result from violations?
    4. 4. Will the company allow rehabilitation?

    In case of positive results, the employee will also be subject to varying penalties. However, the drug-free workplace program must also acknowledge the right of employees to file for an appeal.

    6. Dissemination Strategies

    A drug-free workplace policy should declare the variety of unique strategies on how to educate the employees about the policy. For instance, the organization may conduct an orientation about workplace employee drug testing for new employees; conduct a monthly seminar for supervisors; facilitate training for employees, and encourage them to participate in activities that will promote a drug-free workplace. Some of the easiest yet effective campaign strategies also include the distribution of individual handbook to employees, distribution of posters in gathering places at work sites, and conducting an annual employee progress evaluation, which can be done through drug testing, survey, and many more.


    Categories: Workplace Drug Testing

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