The use of illicit drugs and alcohol is common in the United States and is impacting millions of lives every year. The study done by National Survey on Drug Use and Health in 2019 found that 57 million populations above the age of 12 have used illicit drugs in a year. It raises concerns among employers. Let us know ‘Does Goodwill Drug Test?’.
If the employees use drugs and alcohol then there are high chances that they will be missing work more often and would not be doing the work in a disciplined manner. It will most likely result in huge losses to the employers and tarnish their market reputation. An estimated loss of over 600 million dollars occurs every year due to drug and alcohol addiction in the US.
Why Drug test?
- Conducting a pre-employment background screening for any sort of drug and alcohol abuse will help in protecting the safety of the workplace.
- A safe working environment boosts the morale of the employee, helps in improving the turnover number, and will ultimately lead to increased productivity.
Goodwill Industries International
Goodwill has been there for more than a century. Its headquarters are in Rockville, Maryland and it is functional through 156 local Goodwill member networks operating independently throughout America and Canada. Goodwill also marks an international presence with community-based organizations in Finland, Italy, Thailand, the Philippines, Taiwan, and South Korea.
Goodwill leads in providing employment opportunities, training individuals to make them appear for job interviews, skill training, and extending support to people with disadvantages to have a go at life again. All kinds of job support services are provided by them to make them thrive.
Goodwill is not just a chain of thrift stores. Various missions and services run by them are supported financially by these chains of stores.
Variation in Goodwill Services at Different Locations
Goodwill with its headquarters in Rockville but has many other Goodwills members located in different cities and countries. These member networks are autonomous in the authorization. They work by identifying the needs of the area and community. They function based on the employment opportunities available in the local industries. The community programs and schemes are designed in such a way that the individuals are able to find employment in their place only.
Does Goodwill Drug Test?
Yes, Goodwill practices a Drug-Free Workplace Program. Depending upon a given location the rules might vary. At some Goodwill, only those applicants are tested who are applying for positions deemed safety-sensitive by the agency. Goodwill industries aim to create and practice a safe and healthy work environment for all the employees, volunteers, and clients alike.
What is a Goodwill Drug-Free Workplace program?
Under this program, it is mandatory for the employees to accept the condition of employment and not be involved in any kind of illegal or illicit drug possession, use, distribution, sale or purchase and consumption of alcohol during work hours or doing company-related tasks, or simply being in the company premises. If the person off duty also consumes drugs or alcohol it shouldn’t be detectable during working hours. It is an important point to be kept in mind.
Any violation of the Federal Drug-Free Workplace Act in the workspace needs to be reported at the agency. Any employee found guilty of the violation of rules needs to be discharged from the duty.
Who Pays for Drug Testing?
Goodwill pays for all kinds of drug testing. If the initial tests report is positive then the confirmatory tests are also done and that expense is also paid by the company.
Who Undergoes Drug Testing at Goodwill?
Job applicants or an Employee both undergo drug testing but under different conditions.
1. Job Applicants
- Any individual who applied and has qualified for a position with the company is offered the employment opportunity only on successful negative results of drug test. All the fresh job applicants, therefore, need to appear for a drug test and accept the condition before applying.
- All the applicants need to first sign the “Applicant Drug Testing Consent Agreement” and “Job Applicant Acknowledgement of Receipt and Understanding”. Failing to do so the job application is rejected and the individual is considered disqualified.
- Once the job offer is made the applicant is needed to report for the drug testing on the same day or within 24 hours. If the applicant fails to do so they are disqualified for further proceeding. Once disqualified they can apply for fresh vacancy only after a 6 months period.
- The respective individual who has been offered a position are tested for the presence of alcohol and drugs in the specimen collected. After the tests, Medical Review Officer confirms the negative report; only then the applicant is allowed to join the position.
An individual working for the employer and is paid salary, wages and other remunerations is an Employee. So when does an employee undergoes drug testing?
- In case of accident
- When the employee is responsible for an accident and causes injury to themselves or other people.
- If the employee causes damage to the property, machinery, or product of the agency, they are tested.
- In the case of Drivers if they are on duty and cause an accident using the agency vehicle or personal vehicle they, are tested.
- Routine fitness
- Some posts like that of truck drivers and bus drivers are required to go for a routine drug test.
- Random drug test
- Some positions in the company are highly safety-sensitive and the company cannot afford even slight negligence. As such negligence can cause injury or death. The individuals holding such positions undergo random drug testing.
In addition to these, sometimes as and when required by the state or federal laws testing is conducted.
What if the Drug Tests Result is Positive?
- In the case of job applicants, if anyone is found positive in the drug tests they are informed by the employer stating they failed to pass the test and could not meet the required employment standards. The respective individual will be eligible to apply once again only after the completion of 6 months.
- In the case of an Employee, first-time violators without evidence of abuse, possession, purchase, or selling of drugs or alcohol during working hours or in the company premises are suggested for Employment Assistance Program. They need to complete all the treatments recommended. For the second time violators or, if the company has substantial evidence against the employee, are terminated from the service immediately. They are barred from any kind of compensation benefits.
Steps Followed for Drug Test
- Consent forms are given to the employee or the job applicant agreeing to the screen test, collection of specimen, storage, and analysis of the specimen by the laboratory till the disposal of the sample. The laboratory is designated by the agency to analyze the sample for drug substance or alcohol.
- The medical information provided or agreement for drug tests by the individual is solely for the detection of illicit drugs or alcohol. The information cannot be used for the identification of other medical or body dysfunction.
- The specimen is collected by the authorized drug screen administrator. All the necessary and medically acceptable custody and sample collecting measures need to be followed. The laboratory has to follow a chain of custody protocols.
- The individual undergoing tests have to give consent for disclosure of results by the laboratory to the Medical Review Officer.
- In case of a positive result, consent is provided for a confirmatory or follow-up test.
- The positive result is communicated to the job applicant or employee within a recommended period after confirmation by the MRO.
- If the results of the drug test are positive the job applicant or the employee has a chance for an explanation to the MRO. It will depend on MRO whether to consider the reason satisfactory or not.
- If the applicant fails to follow the directions or attempts to tamper with the specimen or results, they will be considered ineligible for employment.
The signed documents are Applicant drug Testing Acknowledgement of Receipt and Understanding and Applicant Drug Testing Consent Agreement. In case of minor undergoing tests, parents or legal guardian of that person is required to sign the consent and authorization forms.
All the information received either from the applicant or from the drug testing agency is considered confidential and cannot be disclosed publicly. Any information obtained from the drug testing is not liable to be used in case of criminal proceedings against the employee or job applicant.
List of drugs for which testing is conducted. It might vary based on the particular Goodwill-
- Synthetic Narcotics
In its commitment towards creating a safe work environment, Goodwill does carry drug tests but, it depends on the kind of job and location of the Goodwill. It will be advisable to enquire before applying for vacancies.
The network of Goodwill is large. Therefore, based upon the location, the policies of Goodwill keep changing. If the particular vacancy requires drug testing the Goodwill pre-informs and asks the applicants to submit the consent forms.