Considering the many ways that employee drug use can be detrimental in the workplace, it’s not surprising that an increasing number of employers are requiring workers to participate in drug and alcohol testing. Although there are many companies that have enforced such policies for years, for many other employers, the shift brings about a variety of questions and concerns from employees and leadership staff alike.
One of the most important parts of any workplace drug and alcohol policy is building a clear understanding of the legalities involved in mandatory testing. By clarifying legal boundaries and employer/employee rights, workplace drug and alcohol policies can be implemented far more successfully.
Washington State Random Drug Testing Laws
In the state of Washington, employers are legally permitted to require employees to undergo drug and alcohol testing, assuming that the following requirements are met:
- All employees must have access to the company’s policy addressing the prohibited use of drugs and alcohol in the workplace, including information about expectations for drug testing.
- The employer must adhere to legal requirements, including confidentiality and anti-discrimination laws.
- There must be specific procedures included in the company policy that clearly establish how and when drug and alcohol testing will take place.
Employees that work in positions related to public safety, such as transportation, security, and health services, are nearly always required to agree to regular drug and alcohol testing in addition to standard workplace policies.
Why is My Employer Requesting Random Drug Testing?
If you’re an employee that has been asked to submit to random drug and alcohol testing, you may feel worried that they suspect you of participating in illegal activities. However, most random drug testing is exactly that – random – and designed to discourage general drug use and stop problems before they start. By enforcing a random pattern of drug testing, your employer can deter all employee drug use with a proactive approach.
Can I Be Fired for Refusing to Comply with My Employer’s Random Drug Testing Policy?
Assuming that your employer is following proper legal requirements when carrying out their drug testing policy, you may be terminated for refusing to comply. However, you still have certain rights as well:
- Your employer cannot discriminate against disabled individuals who utilize legal prescription medications as provided by a medical professional.
- Employers cannot single out employees for drug testing based on age, race, gender, or other discriminatory factors.
- Employees are protected from invasions of privacy during testing, as well as malicious retaliation or defamation by their employer.
Professional Workplace Drug Testing in Seattle, WA
Whether you’re an employee or employer in the state of Washington, it’s likely that workplace drug testing is a topic that’s relevant to your professional life. As a growing number of employers implement workplace drug prevention programs, it’s becoming increasingly common for employees to be required to submit to random drug testing as a condition of employment. While some employees may initially feel concerned about undergoing testing at the request of their employer, proactive anti-drug policies actually serve to make the workplace a safer, more positive, and productive environment in the long run.
ARCpoint Labs of Seattle West is a trusted provider of professional lab testing solutions, including workplace drug and alcohol testing. Our convenient, affordable test options make it easy for employers to maintain a healthy workplace for their employees, and our expert technicians and high standards of testing ensure fair, accurate testing for all.