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Marketing. Hiring. Taxes. The bottom line.

Running a business requires paying close attention to a number of disparate areas.

One thing that many business owners overlook is their responsibility regarding drug-free environments at work.

Federal laws on drug-free workplaces fall into two general categories: those crafted to target substance abuse in the workplace, and those designed to protect employees’ basic civil rights.


Both can present problems, if you’re not careful.

Here’s what you need to know:

The Drug-free Workplace Act of 1988 requires businesses in certain categories to take action against drug use in the workplace. Companies that perform public safety or national security roles — trucking companies are one big local example — fall into this category, as do all companies that receive federal grants or that have federal contracts of at least $100,000.

Even if your company is not required by law to enforce drug-free policies, all businesses — from mom-and-pop operations to small businesses to large corporations — have a moral duty to provide a safe and drug-free working environment for their employees.

But preventing drug use can be tricky.

Laws such as the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act set limits on what employers can do in the course of investigating employee drug use and levying penalties for breaking company drug policy. Business owners and managers who are thinking about beginning a drug-testing program should seek out expert advice. Drug-free programs in the workplace are a great thing, but if implemented wrong they can open the business to lawsuits for things like invasion of privacy, wrongful discharge, defamation and discrimination.

The law regarding drug-free workplace programs can be complicated, and it helps to have someone in your corner with expertise in dealing with these situations.

Bostec Inc., located in Lynden, Washington, has the experience and knowledge to guide businesses through this tricky process. Bostec works throughout the Pacific Northwest helping businesses large and small with drug-testing issues.

If your Washington, Oregon, Idaho or Alaska business is looking to implement, maintain or improve a workplace drug-testing program, you’re encouraged to contact the professionals at Bostec Inc. for advice. They can walk businesses through the process of implementing fair and consistent policies in a manner that complies with local, state and federal laws. Bostec’s experienced staff can also set up all the components necessary for a company to begin a workplace drug and alcohol testing program.

For additional information, visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s website or contact the pros at Bostec.

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