Drug Testing?

Does anyone do drug testing on new hires, current employees, drivers or not? We are in a rural locale and rumor has it that 1 in 5 residents are on meth or alcohol. Makes us a bit nervous. If you do, pre-employment? how often? who pays. Figure it might show up on drivers record or maybe not. Any insight will be appreciated. Thanks for your time!


If we based continued employment on the results of a drug test (for alcohol or marijuana - I think I’d be one of only 2 employees left in the store.

As long as my people come to work straight, rested, and ready to work - I don’t really care what they do in their off time.

this guy is an idiot we have an emergency care unit they will druf test for $30.00 a pop

you must take care of your business

this guy is an idiot we have an emergency care unit they will druf test for $30.00 a pop

you must take care of your business

Although I would put it more politely, I agree with Small Town.

If your employees are doing drugs, you SHOULD care. I don’t test because of the burdensome laws in my area make it extremely expensive, and if the test is positive, I still can’t fire them based on it… But if you are in 48 of the 50 states, I would not hesitate. If you are in my state, you are better off finding an excuse to get rid of someone you are reasonably sure uses.

I know from experience that users OFF the job will eventually bring it ON the job. Buying, selling, using, making arrangements to buy, sell, or use… Sooner or later it hits you.

God help you if you have an accident, and the employee was using. The liability is huge.

How about image? Am employee that is a known user will scare off Customers. Been there, done that. What about the liability of a 21 year old that buys beer for or sells drugs to a 17 year old in your shop? Don’t think you can escape liability! And don’t think it wont happen… It will.

Many drugs stay in the system for hours or days. An employee that uses off the clock may still be under the influence ON the clock.

An employee that uses may be distracted, waiting for their next fix.

Pot, meth, coke, alcohol, are just some of the drugs that have invaded my shops over the years. And don’t tell me pot is harmless. There is cross along the interstate put back every year on the site where a former employee (off the clock, thank God) killed himself and another driver because he was too stoned to know or care that he was driving the wrong way.

Only losers do illegal drugs, and I don’t want or need losers in my shop.


Where are you guys finding these angelic young adult drivers, dishawashers, etc. that don’t drink or smoke a joint or two on the weekend?

I’m not talking about herion addicts or drug dealers. I’m talking about those guys that party after work on the weekends. They don’t come to work on Tuesday drunk or high. I don’t condone either drinking or drug use, I’m just being realistic.

I find mine at the church youth organizations

We run our employees through a temp agency. They get a pre-employment drug screening. We pay for it, if they come out clean, and it’s about $28. It does get a little frustrating at times when a clean UA is only half the battle (i.e., good driving record), but there is more peace of mind knowing that you’ve done your best to ensure a safer work environment. Haven’t we all put too much into our businesses to let some stoner or tweaker screw it up for us?
Tom R

Good people want to work with good people. Scum like working with scum. I sincerely hope all my competition thinks like our guest poster.

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Tom Boyles, PMQ staff

Wow, now I’m scum and so are my employees. :lol:

I’m trying to understand how some of you could serve alcohol yet you want to test your employees for alcohol consumption. Doesn’t make much sense.

If you want to think that someone who might smoke a joint on the weekend is scum, well, that’s your opinion.

I don’t serve alcohol, and alcohol is legal.

I didn’t call you scum.

In my opinion, someone who shows a blatant disregard for the law, not to mention the safety of others, is not a person I want to employ. Drug users are more likely to steal, are more likely to cause an accident. I don’t need that.

I didn’t say ALL drug user do, and I didn’t say NON users DON’T.

If you want to employ drug users, go ahead. I won’t. I have seen too much pain and suffering caused by users to just bury my head in the sand and pretend it doesn’t hurt anybody.

Cathy (the original post in this thread) is justifiably concerned about meth users working in her store. If she (like me) doesn’t want drug users in her place, she has that right.

Cathy, try this link http://www.americanscreeningcorp.com/
Be sure to consult a labor law attorney about chain of custody and other issues related to drug screening.

Don’t be scared by those that try to tell you that you wont have any employees if you screen for drugs. There are plenty of drug free people out there, and you will be better for it. You may loose a few right off the bat, but in the end you WILL lower turnover, and you WILL decrease theft. You may be able to get discounts from your insurance company on liability and work comp as well.

Read what she wrote. She wants to test for METH AND Alcohol. My comments are more towards the alcohol side of things, not the meth side.

None of the people that work for me use Meth as far as I know. I know many of them drink, and even fewer of them smoke pot every once in a while. That is the basis of my comments.

The primary form of employee drug testing is pre-employment screening. Currently, of the major U.S. companies 80 percent conduct new hire drug screenings. This action addresses several goals. The company can advertise that they perform pre-employment drug screening. This action alerts the corporation’s customers that they are entering a drug-free workplace. With the advent of large warehouse type stores, this advertising can be viewed as promoting safety to all customers visiting a working warehouse. As an example, Home Depot reports that they have seen a decrease in the number of work-related accidents since implementing their drug testing policy in 1989.

In the corporate world, competitor tactics sometimes must be emulated to retain a level playing field. The current positive rate for pre-employment screening is over 4 percent. Therefore, if an employer does not perform pre-employment drug screening then they can statistically expect that at least 4 percent of their new hires will be drug abusers. In addition, the logic follows that since the non-testing companies are drawing from a pool of workers that includes the rejects from the testing companies their expected positive rates should be higher.

Corporations are always looking for ways to determine the best employee for a new position within the company. If the potential employee does not have the intelligence to clean-up his drug use for a minimum of 36 hours before a known drug test, then Human Resources has used a screening process that has identified a person who has failed their “Drug IQâ€

I can’t begin to thank all of you who commented. Driverx and ffschmidt sort of embody my thoughts. We were basically thinking preemployment and, yes, we would test everybody. This is a church dominated region, but that doesn’t mean they are all “angels”. That is a plus though, particularly with the younger ones. We just don’t want to discover that a driver is deliverying more than pizza!!! The workmen’s comp issue is huge and I really appreciate having that pointed out. Our wc insurance quotes have us gulping as is. As for what anyone does in their spare time, we couldn’t care less just as long as they show up straight and sober. Alcohol is a big problem in this area also - as well as meth. Our neighbor was in a the hospital for 3 months and in a wheelchair for nearly a year after a drunk driver hit him head-on a few miles from here. I’ve been known to have a couple of drinks on New Year’s Eve and don’t begrudge anyone an intermittent joint, but that intermittent use shouldn’t show up on a drug test that is known about in advance. I agree that if they can’t stay straight and sober for 36 hours they are more than intermittent users. We will review the suggested web sites since we are trying to cover all the bases. One never knows what may happen down the road (no pun intended). Again, thanks so much for all your input. We appreciate you all and this web site. We wouldn’t be opening this business without it !!! I’m on a different user name but it is still

Cathy (lilpiz01)

Anyone reading this thread that still thinks having a drug user on staff is no big deal, read this…

"Two Mid-South business owners are suing to get more than $200k back, after police confiscated the money. One of their Collierville workers is charged with serving up pot along with the pizza he was selling. The owners say they didn’t know anything about it.

Marijuana isn’t on the menu at Little Caesar’s on New Byhalia, but police say one employee at this restaurant was serving up pot with the deep dish pepperoni. Steven Barton was arrested on June 16th still wearing his Little Caesars uniform.

Police say Barton sold customers pot out of the where he was a cook and sometimes worked the register. The arrest was made after several people complained that you could get drugs with your take out.

“We had a cooperating citizen of Collierville go in as an agent of the police department and we did make narcotics buys,” says Collierville Police Captain Tommy McCaskill.

In court documents, Barton is accused of letting a customer buy pot with a debit card. Investigators say one drug sale was for $12. To keep the books balanced, Barton took cash from the drawer.

Barton isn’t the only one with court troubles. When Collierville police served a warrant to arrest Barton here at the restaurant…they also froze the restaurant owners’ bank account–seizing more than 230-thousand dollars from Julie and Martin Mathews.

“We follow the guidelines in the state of Tennessee on asset seizure and forfeiture,” explained McCaskill. But the Mathews’ aren’t convinced Collierville police followed procedure. In a lawsuit filed in Chancery Court against the town of Collierville and the state of Tennessee. The Mathews’ claim they didn’t know one of their workers was selling drugs out of their business.

The suit asks that the $230,000 seized from their account be held in an interest bearing account until the issue is resolved. That request for the court to hold that money was granted by Chancellor Walter Evans.

Steven Barton and his brother Justin, who was a manager at the store, were both fired after the arrest. Barton is charged with possession of a controled substance with intent to sell."

Where dose the article say the seller was a user? Nowhere that I see.

Explain exactly how drug testing would have prevented this from happening.

Thats a good point - A lot of drug dealers dont use themselves- I guess drug test or not, you never REALLY know. But lets get real people- its a minimum wage job- its not like you are hiring for a giant corporation. Lighten up!! I think if you like the person and are impressed at the interview- hire them. We have everyone sign a letter stating they are on “probation” for 60 days after they are hired-if they are drug addicts surely you would know by then. That way we can let them go without any problem. 8)

This topic reminded me of this article over at yahooka.com

Almost 75% of big companies in the United States drug test, and congress is helping small companies begin new testing programs (Koche). Although drug testing is supposed to decrease drug use, it has actually led to an increase in hard drug use. As more companies drug test, these tests are becoming easier to deceive. Studies have also shown that drug testing does not decrease drug use yet, companies still test their employees. This is seen as a waste of money because the whole point of drug testing employees is to make sure they are not using drugs. Not only that, drug testing is also unnecessary and invasive for some jobs. Employeers don’t need to be looking at the pee of an employee who greets customers all day. Even if an employee had drugs in his system, there is no proof that the drugs he took affected his work effort. The theory of drug testing is one that has both its pros and cons.

Unannounced drug tests are not necessary because studies have not shown it actually deters drug use, therefore it is a waste of money. According to Koche, Eigthy percent of large employers drug test their employees. All of these big companies drug test when you apply for a job and randomly once you are employed. Many studies that show drug testing decreases drug use are actually misleading because of the bigger pool of testers. When employers switched from “suspicion-based drug testing” to random drug testing, they increased the amount of people being tested (Koche). This of course led to a misleading ratio. Along with the move to random based drug testing came increased cost as well. In 1990 the government spent $11.7 million on testing employees. Out of 29,000 employees only 153 testing positive for drugs. The positive-tests added up to a total of $77,000 (Ehrenreich). Even though random tests occur, this may only stop the novice drug users. There are many ways to fool the drug test to produce clean results. According to Marshall Poe, there is everything from pills to synthetic urine. From my personal experience, I know that some of these concepts do not really work. For example, there is a special plant called Golden Root. The pill itself makes you urinate more frequently then average. The goal of it is to urinate all your THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, from your body. That way when you take the test, it will come up negative for marijuana.

Employeers believe employees should be randomly drug tested because it decreases drug use. Some studies state that in recent years drug abuse in America has gone down. While this may be true, there are no studies that directly relate the decrease in drug abuse and workplace drug testing. In fact, many experts argue that the times have changed and drugs that are more dangerous and harder to catch through urine testing are now being abused (Walsh). The reason people are turning to more dangerous drugs, such as cocaine, is because of the time it takes to get out of your body. While drugs like marijuana can stay in your body from 3 to 70 days, cocaine is in your system for up to 2 days (Koche). So an employee maybe using crack at the time of an incident, but if he avoids the drug test for a day or two, he will appear innocent. This sends employees a rather different, and unintended message.

Random drug testing of employees can help employers cut down on work place accidents. An article in Occupation Health and Saftey, states that substance users account for $200 billion yearly. They also say that users file 300% to 400% higher medical claims (David 1). Even if these employees tested positive, that does not necessarly mean they were under the influence of the drugs. According to Current, drug testing increased productivity by 63% (Current 2). Though the productivity increased, this leaves more room for accident, or more time for employees to be standing around. When employees are standing around doing nothing, they have a chance of getting injured on the job. While the accidents caused by these employees cost a large amount of money, so do the drug tests that are not preventing them from using in the first place.

If a employee comes up positive on a random drug test, it does not prove they were using the drug while they were working, but only the fact that presence of drug residue remains in their system. Part of this whole controversy is concept of recreational drug use. If an employee gets off work and smokes a joint of marijuana, that wont effect his quality of work the next day or 30 days after that. According to McCallion, when a drug user gets in an accident, they usually drug test him for insurance liabilities. If the user comes up positive, not only does he have a chance of being fired, he is not eligible for workers compensation, or unemployment insurance (McCallion). The worker is being severly punished for something that may not have occurred on the job. Now, that worker is faced with no income until he can find another job. In times like this, that is not a situation you want to be in. According to Koche, the joint that worker smoked after work, could be in the users urine for up to 70 days if they are a chronic user. The user was not high while they were at work, yet still is getting a harsh penalty for what he did after hours.

Employees that do not have safety sensitive jobs should be protected from unannounced drug tests because it is unnecessary, therefore making it invasive. In the past jobs were scanning “safety sensitive” positions, which cost less and made sense. If someone is driving a bus or a taxi, of course they should not be intoxicated. According to an article by Koche, places have started to test all applicants and current employees. Congress passed a $10 million dollar bill, which would test one tenth of the governments’ work place, including the mail service (Koche). Since the government is doing this, it is encouraging small businesses to drug test as well. For example, Ehrenreich interviewed a hotel owner who said he started drug testing his employees just because he did not want to get stuck with all the druggies in town. For someone who is getting paid to stand behind a desk, or count inventory a drug test isn’t quite necessary. They get paid so little that they barely can afford basic living necessities. Koche stated it was “an evisceration of the fourth amendment”. The employers think they can search through employees urine because you work for them. In some cases they make you pee in front of a lab technician. There are other noninvasive ways to check if an employee is abusing drugs, such as a performance test. A performance tests consist of a few basic motor skill exercises on the computer. Once you complete them it gives you a baseline score. If you are intoxicated, that score should be unattainable.

Overall, drug testing in the United States is invasive to employees, a waste of money, and deceiving. Though there are all these clear negative issues attached to drug testing, it is still allowed in the United States. Hopefully, if enough cases are fought in court, it will be ruled invasive to peoples fourth right. Congress will want to continue drug testing as long as possible because they are using it as a weapon against the drug war. Hopefully, future leaders will realizes that drug testing is very invasive and a waste of our resources.

So you are thinking of opening a pizza shop and you do not belive it is important to have a drug free work place? Most (not all) of the people I know that smoke weed will smoke before work or on breaks. They are already breaking the law so crossing one more barrier and breaking your rules is easy. They are smarter than you and know you will never catch them. I have had people come to work drunk and stoned. I even caught one kid firing up a joint in the parking lot 10 min before his shift started.
I would not want someone that routinely engages in illegal behaviour and illegal commerce to handle my money, handle my inventory or deal with my customers. Think about it, they are ok with illegal activity. They support it. There is an ethical problem here.
If pot were legal, it would probably replace beer now and again to unwind after work, but it is not legal so I choose to obey the llaw.
When we first opened we hired a high school kid that was a little bit of a punk. I really did not think it would be a problem because I knew his mom. One day, one of the secretaries at the local high school let me know that she overheard several teachers talking and they would not order from us because the did not trust this kid and because we hired him they did not trust us. What people do away from work matters.