New year a good time to review, create drug policy

Do you wish you had a drug screening policy in place for all current employees and new hires? Every employer should have a drug policy in place to protect one’s business assets, reputation and employees. The new year is a great time to put one in place, or to change the parameters of your current drug policy to include rules, regulations and processes you currently don’t have but need.

First and foremost, a drug policy should spell out the various circumstances that would warrant the use of drug testing. Typically, there are four such circumstances:

  1. Job applicants. This doesn’t mean you conduct drug testing on every single applicant, but it does ensure that prospective employees understand and agree to a drug screening as a condition of employment.
  2. Random employee drug screening. While employers need not use this as a “surprise” tactic, it is perfectly acceptable to let employees know they could be subject to random drug testing during their time of employment with you.
  3. Post accident. If you are suspicious about the circumstances surrounding a workplace accident, you want to have a policy in place that allows for drug testing of everyone involved, in order to clear you and your company of legal responsibility.
  4. Reasonable suspicion. If you suspect an individual or a few employees of using illegal drugs or alcohol on the job, you needn’t test everyone just to “keep things fair.” Your drug policy should allow for the special circumstances for which you can selectively control who is tested.

Another thing to carefully consider is what types of disciplinary action will be taken against employees who are found to be in violation of your drug policy. Is one failed drug test cause for immediate termination? Will you have assist the employee in entering a drug or alcohol rehabilitation program? Do you want guidelines for a probationary period for those employees who fail a test but stay on the payroll? These are all questions whose answers need to be spelled out for all to see, and every employee should be asked to read over and sign a copy of the policy immediately.

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Protecting Your Workplace with Background Checks Is a Must

As a 21st century employer, saying “We didn’t know!” when it comes to the past of an employee who winds up committing a crime just doesn’t cut it.  Not only doesn’t anyone care, but it doesn’t necessarily absolve the employer from legal ramifications, either.

The solution, of course, is to comprehensively background check every single person who is on the payroll.  That way, past misdeeds will surface quickly and decisions can be made by upper management in terms of whether or not to offer smokeless electronic cigarette the individual the job.

Not only can a background check protect you in this kind of public relations sense, but it can also protect you in many other ways, including:

  • Employee morale;
  • Sales and profits;
  • Attrition;
  • Reputation;
  • Property; and more!

If you’ve worried that a background checking policy is going to anger new hires, don’t fall into that kind of trap.  Many companies are moving to a background screening process and potential employees know it.  So… there’s no need to avoid background checking.

Problem with Procedures Opens Door for Sex Offender to Work with Kids

In Palm Beach, Florida, it was recently discovered that the county had, unbeknownst to the powers-that-be, put a host of undesirable workers on the payroll.  Not surprisingly, this has caused an uproar inside and outside of the community.


Perhaps the most dreadful aspect of this public relations nightmare is that at least one sex offender was given unfettered access to children.  The man, along with many others, has now been charged with sexually assaulting a young, female camper who was in his charge. 


The problem?  Not one of these people hired by the county of Palm Beach was required to undergo a background check.  It’s a shocking realization to people who assume that anyone given authority (especially over youngsters) has been thoroughly screened prior to being brought on board.


This sad case brings to light the absolute necessity of background checks for every person being considered for a job, even if the employment is only seasonal or temporary.  And it’s especially critical if the position involves having anything to do with kids, the elderly or any other vulnerable population.


How Palm Beach county will react in the future is yet to be determined.  Chances are good, however, that officials will see the value in background checking and change the regulations that allow for loopholes the size of a small galaxy to exist.


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Why Really Small Businesses Still Aren’t Background Checking Employees

Even though businesses of all sizes know that they should ideally be checking the backgrounds of every person they hire, many very small companies are still wavering in their commitment to do so.Why aren’t these smaller organizations protecting themselves by conducting background checks on new hires? Though their reasons vary, here are a few of the most common excuses:

- They think that background screening is too costly. Though it’s actually quite economically-priced (check out the affordable options at our site!), business owners are worried that background checks will somehow negatively affect their bottom lines.

- They haven’t hired before and don’t know how to work with a background screening company. For these business owners, not conducting background checks happens because they simply are not aware of their options.

- They don’t hire very often. If there isn’t a hiring process at the company, background screening of applicants won’t be part of the culture.

- They feel they can hire based on “gut instincts”. As any entrepreneur who has been burned by a bad employee can attest, the “guts” can be wrong.

If you’re the founder or president of a very small company, don’t allow any of the above excuses to keep you from performing background checks on any person who will be on your payroll. In the end, it’s the smart thing to do.

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  • 10 Proven Ways to Stop Hiring Problem Employees!

    Does your business have a high turnover rate?  Are you sick and tired of problem employees?  Then stop them from coming into your organization at the source!

    Here are 10 proven ways to make sure that toxic workers never get on the payroll.

    1.  Be very clear in your job description as to what you want/need, credentials you expect, etc.  This will help you weed out the wrong applicants from the very start.

    2.  When selecting whom to interview, go over resumes with a fine-toothed comb.  Look for gaps or inconsistencies.  Even if they don’t preclude you from contacting the applicant, write down your questions or concerns so you can ask them of the candidate.

    3.  Make sure anyone who is interviewing on behalf of your company knows what questions to ask and how to respond to inquiries.

    4.  Your first interview should be via telephone.  This will save time and money if you’re asking the right questions upfront.  You can tell a lot about a person by the way he or she communicates when body language isn’t a factor.

    5.  During your face-to-face interview, be very straightforward and talk as little as possible.  The more the candidate talks, the more you’ll find out.  (But don’t sit there silent all the time — this isn’t to be awkward for either one of you!)

    6.  Make NO PROMISES during the interview (aka, “fact finding”) stage.  Don’t say, “I think you’re perfect!”, because when you do, you’ve already given away some of your power.

    7.  If you like someone, contact at least 3 past employers as well as 3 references or hiring a background checking company to do so for you.  This will tell you a great deal!

    8.  Before you make the final offer, get the applicant’s permission for a comprehensive background check.  You may be shocked at what you find.

    9.  Put into place some kind of “trial period” where the employee realizes he/she is under scrutiny and can be let go if performance is not up to par. 

    10.  If you have ANY problems, document them from day one.  Don’t make excuses for the new hire.  Protect yourself and your staff!

    Have we missed any of the preferred methods that you use to make sure that problem employees don’t join your team?

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