The hotel industry is all about providing clean and safe accommodations for guests. This industry stands on a strong foundation of human resources to provide the kind of experiences that will make guests want to come back.

Customer service is a critical factor in overall guest experience. A well-trained and efficient staff is at the heart of it all.

Hotel personnel interacts directly with paying clients and should, therefore, be in top form at all times. It is an established fact that drug and alcohol use in the workplace can result to a host of problems for the business – lost productivity, injuries/fatalities, absenteeism, damage to property, theft, low employee morale, poor performance, increased health care and worker’s compensation costs, and legal liabilities.

Background Screening & Drug Testing in the Hotel Industry

Background checks and pre-employment drug testing

These are standard practices within the industry. Employers need to make sure that potential employees, especially for customer-facing positions have no criminal history or drug use and abuse issues.

Pertinent personal information about job applicants can be verified via background checks.

These can include the following:

  • Nationwide Criminal with SSN Trace and Alias
  • Sex Offender Registry
  • Global Criminal Watch List
  • Federal Criminal
  • Nationwide Wants and Warrants

A hair drug test is ideal for detecting chronic substance use. It can provide at least a 90-day drug use history or the lack of it. Drug testing with hair samples can be done either with the laboratory collection hair test or the self-collection hair test which can have results back after only 2 days.

Random drug testing

This is routinely practiced in the hotel industry for employees holding critical positions responsible for guest safety and security in and around the hotel premises. Urine testing is the most popular testing method is often used for random drug testing as well. Multi-panel drug tests like our 5 Panel CLIA Waived iCup Urine Drug Test Cup are readily available and allow employers to detect less popular drugs. Instant urine drug test kits are available in the following forms:

  • Nationwide Criminal with SSN Trace and Alias
  • Integrated test cups
  • Instant drug testing dip cards
  • Instant drug testing cassettes
  • Instant drug testing dip strips

Post-accident/post-incident and Reasonable-suspicion testing

These are conducted when mishaps occur that are suspected to be the result of alcohol or drug intoxication while on the job. The most convenient method to do on-the-spot testing is the saliva drug test kit. Specimen collection is easy and non-invasive and it is practically impossible to cheat or compromise the sample. Saliva tests like our 7 Panel SalivaConfirm Premium Saliva Drug Test Kit with Alcohol are also very budget-friendly.

Alternatively, a urine test may be done within a reasonable period from the time of the accident.


According to the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health report entitled “Substance Use and Substance Use Disorder by Industry”, drug and alcohol use from 2008–2012 for full-time employees aged 18-64 within the Hotel Industry (Accommodation and Food Services) are as follows:

  • Past month heavy alcohol use: 11.8% (down from 12.5% for 2003-2007 period)
  • Past month illicit drug use: 19.1% (up from 16.9% for 2003-2007 period and is highest across all industries)
  • Past year substance use disorder: 16.9% (down from 17.4% for 2003-2007 period but still the highest across all industries)

Marijuana is still the top drug of abuse, followed closely by cocaine. Prescription drug use has been steadily climbing and is now a close 3rd to marijuana and cocaine.

How Workplace Drug Testing Can Benefit the Hotel Industry

The purpose of workplace drug testing in the hotel industry is to deter the abuse of drugs, prevent the hiring of employees who use illegal drugs and provide early identification and referral to treatment of employees with alcohol or drug problems.

  • Pre-employment drug testing is conducted to prevent the hiring of employees who are using drugs. It is extremely cost-effective, since most drug users will not bother applying at companies in the hotel industry that conduct pre-employment drug testing, consequently saving hotel industry employers time and money.
  • Post-accident testing is the most effective way to reduce workplace accidents.
  • Reasonable suspicion drug testing helps minimize potential liability resulting from drug or alcohol abuse.
  • Random workplace drug testing is the most cost-effective process to deter hotel industry drug abuse, and the fastest way to convey a drug-free workplace to employees.

Employees in the hotel industry who value their job are less likely to use drugs with the knowledge that they are subject to a drug test at any given time.

Employee Assistance Programs

After detection due to implemented workplace drug testing programs, Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) help employees and their families address the wide range of personal problems that stem from drug abuse. They function to assess the nature and seriousness of the alcohol or other drug problem, and when treatment is necessary, to direct the employee to the most appropriate treatment program. They also have an important role in monitoring an employee's progress until the treatment program is complete.

A viable EAP related to workers in the hotel industry is a significant cost benefit and does much to restore employees with drug abuse problems to good health and well-being.

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