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drug testing

Is Mandatory Drug Testing for New Employees a Good Idea?

Should workers have to pass a pre-employment drug test before getting a job? 

This was a big topic amongst several business owners in Georgia. Apparently, many applicants walk out even before the screening. The dilemma these employers face is trying to find enough workers to fill the openings they have without either breaking federal safety laws or putting themselves at risk for liability reasons. 

All over the country, employers say they see a disturbing downside of tighter labor markets as they try to rebuild from the worst recession since the Depression: They are struggling to find workers who can pass a pre-employment drug test.

That hurdle partly stems from the growing ubiquity of drug testing, at corporations with big human resources departments, in industries like trucking where testing is mandated by federal law for safety reasons, and increasingly at smaller companies.

But data suggest employers’ difficulties also reflect an increase in the use of drugs, especially marijuana — employers’ main gripe — and also heroin and other opioid drugs much in the news.

Is it realistic to be a drug-free workplace? 

I have to say that I’m old school in many ways…including not partaking in recreational drugs. However, if I’m not in the minority…I’m close to it. Lots of people are smoking marijuana and use other types of drugs, too. Times have changed. 

This conversation could go lots of different ways. For now, what hit me was this question: if someone can’t find a job because they can’t pass a drug test, how do they live? Are they filing unemployment claims with taxpayers taking care of them? 

Does that bother you? It does me! 

I’m compassionate and believe in helping those who can’t help themselves. But I’m opposed to those who can help themselves but are choosing to get high instead of getting clean and then finding a job. 

Sometimes tough love is what’s needed. 


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