Creating a safe work environment for all employees can significantly increase retention. When employees feel safe and trusted, they’ll want to invest themselves into the organization and watch it become successful. Creating a safe and trusting work environment starts before the candidate is even hired. It’s important to have a complete background on the candidate’s history, education, and ability to perform the job. Implementing drug checks and background screens for new hires creates employer and employee peace of mind and continue to keep current employees safe and satisfied. The new hire will also clearly understand the company’s position on drug use know exactly what is expected on the first day, ensuring that your staff stays at top working condition.
By Tommy Eden
Lorenzo Cook applied for an associate position at the Kmart store located in Hyattsville, Maryland. Following an interview he was offered the position of customer service associate. During his appointment to fill out his new hire paperwork and take a mandatory drug screen, Cook told the hiring manager that he had kidney failure and could not produce a urine specimen for testing because of the disease and he undergoes dialysis. However, Cook did offer to undergo an alternative type of drug screening including hair, blood or other non-urine forms of drug testing. Two weeks later Cook was called and told that Kmart required all new hires to complete a standard urine test. Cook’s offer was withdrawn.
Cook then filed a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which later filed suit on his behalf in Federal District Court in Maryland claiming that Kmart’s refusal to allow Cook an alternative drug specimen test violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The suit alleged that the manager did not enter into an interactive discussion with Cook about possible alternative drug test but rather summarily denied his request for an accommodation.