Drug Free Workplace Program

DWFP Announcement

The Tennessee Drug Free Workplace Program is designed to increase productivity for Tennessee employers and promote safe worksites for employees by promoting drug- and alcohol-free workplaces.  Worksites where workers are not impaired by drugs and alcohol are safer worksites and can operate in an enhanced competitive position that is free from the costs, delays and tragedies that accompany workplace accidents resulting from substance abuse related injuries.  Employers are not required to join; and if the reasons named above are not reason enough, there are several other reasons explained below that an employer should contemplate when considering participation.

View the Drug Free Workplace Program Rules.

The Problems

  • 60% of the world's production of illegal drugs is consumed in the U.S.
  • Nearly 70% of current users of illegal drugs are employed.
  • Nearly 1 in 4 employed Americans between the ages of 18 - 35 have illegally used drugs.
  • 1/3 of employees know of the illegal sale of drugs in their workplace.
  • 20% of young workers admit using marijuana on the job.

* Source: 'Working Partners', National Conference Proceedings Report: sponsored by U.S. Dept. of Labor, the SBA, and the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

The Costs

Even though many employers choose to ignore the problem, substance abuse in the workplace has a real impact on their bottom line. Substance abuse drains more than $100 Billion from American businesses every year in ...

  • WORKERS' COMPENSATION CLAIMS: 38% to 50% of all Workers' Compensation claims are related to substance abuse in the workplace; substance abusers file three to five times as many Worker's Compensation claims.
  • MEDICAL COSTS: Substance abusers incur 300% higher medical costs than non-abusers.
  • ABSENTEEISM: Substance abusers are 2.5 times more likely to be absent eight or more days a year.
  • LOST PRODUCTIVITY: Substance abusers are 1/3 less productive.
  • EMPLOYEE TURNOVER: It costs a business an average of $7,000 to replace a salaried worker.

* Source: 'Working Partners', National Conference Proceedings Report: sponsored by U.S. Dept. of Labor, the SBA, and the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

The Solution: A Drug Free Workplace Program

Companies who have a Drug Free Workplace Program will find that an investment in education, prevention, and assistance programs pays dividends for both the employer and the employee.   

The Benefits of joining the Tennessee Drug Free Workplace Program

An employer certified by the Tennessee Drug Free Workplace Program to be Tennessee Drug Free participant is entitled to:

  • A 5% premium credit on its workers' compensation insurance policy.
  • A shift in the burden of proof in workers’ compensation claims involving a positive alcohol or drug test. If an employee is injured at work and later fails a post-accident drug/alcohol test, it is presumed that the drugs or alcohol were the proximate cause of the injury.  Workers’ Compensation benefits can be denied until the injured employee overcomes that presumption.
    • Legislation was passed in 2011 that increased the standard of proof required by an injured worker to overcome the presumption from a preponderance of evidence to clear and convincing evidence.  This change makes it even more difficult for employees impaired by alcohol or other drugs, while at work, to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.
  • The presumption that the discharge or discipline of an employee, or the refusal to hire a job applicant, who is found to be in violation of the employer’s drug-free workplace program will be considered done for cause.  This will likely disqualify employees from receiving unemployment benefits.

Need More Help?

If you have additional questions, please call 615-532-4812 or 800-332-2667 or contact us by email at wc.info@tn.gov.