The ADA And Workplace Drug Testing: What Are An Employer’s Rights?

An employee who works under the influence of drugs or alcohol at work may, at the very least, have diminished productivity and poor work performance; at worst, he poses a serious safety risk to himself and those around him. As an employer, you have both a right and an obligation to maintain a safe and healthy work environment. Enacting a clear drug testing policy to eliminate workplace substance abuse is an important step toward maintaining a safe work environment. In developing and enforcing a drug testing policy, you want to protect your managerial rights while respecting your employees’ legal rights. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects recovering and recovered alcoholics and drug addicts from discrimination, which can present difficulties in enforcing an effective drug testing policy. How do you navigate the ADA’s regulations while maintaining an alcohol- and drug-free workplace? Below are some tips for ensuring your policy complies with the ADA, as well as recommendations for components that should be included in an effective drug testing policy.

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