Am I required to test?
Can I drug test?
Should I drug test?
What type of testing is available?
It is crucial to determine if you are required to comply with the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988.
If so, you will want to pay special attention to those elements that are required by the Act, which the generator will prompt you to include in your program.
The program will automatically include all of the minimum required elements into your policy.
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The United States Federal Government is the principle regulator requiring testing under drug free workplace programs.
The US Departments of Transportation, Energy, Health and Human Services, Defense, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission all have guidelines requiring testing of certain employees.
Most federally mandated testing stems from the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991, which requires drug and alcohol testing of safety-sensitive transportation employees in aviation, trucking, railroads, mass transit, pipelines and other transportation industries.
Many states also have regulations affecting the permissibility and requirement to conduct drug testing.
Any company’s drug free workplace policy must consider both federal and state legislation.
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Drug testing is NOT required under the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988.
However, most private employers have the right to test for a wide variety of substances.
It is important that employers familiarize themselves with the various state and federal laws that may apply to their business or organization before designing a drug-testing policy.
The majority of employers across the US are not required to test, and many state and local governments yhave statutes that limit or prohibit workplace testing unless it is required by state or federal regulations for certain jobs.
Drug-testing policies protect both employees and employers.
It is important for employers to note that drug testing without a drug-testing policy--even if an employee is suspected of having a substance abuse problem--exposes them to a number of significant liability and legal vulnerabilities.
The most common reasons employers implement drug testing are to:
Deter employees from abusing drugs and alcohol
Prevent hiring individuals who use illegal drugs
Provide early identification and referral of employees who have drug and/or alcohol problems
Provide a safe workplace for other employees
Ensure general public safety and instill consumer confidence that employees are working safely
The number one deterrent to employees using drugs or alcohol on the job is testing, bottom line it works.
The statistics show that a large population of employees do in fact use illegal drugs and/or abuse alcohol.
It is also a known fact that small businesses are more susceptible to this problem.
If you want to increase the odds that you have a 'clean and sober' workforce, you may want to implement drug testing into your drug-free workplace policy.
There are a variety of circumstances in which an organization may wish to require a drug test.
Examine each option and decide which will be included in your testing program.
Pre-employment - Pre-employment testing is conducted to prevent hiring individuals who illegally use drugs.
It typically takes place after a conditional offer of employment has been made.
Applicants agree to be tested as a condition of employment and are not hired if they fail the initial test.
Periodic - Some employers use periodic testing on a semi-annual or annual basis, especially if physicals are required for the job.
Periodic testing is scheduled in advance and uniformly administered.
Such tests generally are more accepted by employees than unannounced tests, but employees can prepare for the tests by stopping their drug use several days before the test.
Random - Random testing is unannounced. Random testing is believed to have the greatest deterrent effect on drug use since no one is sure when he or she will be tested.
Employees' identifying data are placed in a testing pool from which a scientifically random selection is made.
Every employee in the pool has an equal chance of being chosen for testing every time a random selection is drawn.
This selected is computer generated to ensure random distribution.
Post-Accident - since property damage or personal injury may result from accidents, testing following an accident can help determine whether drugs and/or alcohol were a factor.
It is important to establish objective and documented criteria that will trigger a post-accident test.
Examples of criteria that would trigger a test after an accident include:
Injuries that require anyone to be removed from the scene for medical care
Damage to vehicles or property above a specified amount
Citations issued by the police
Reasonable Suspicion - Reasonable suspicion testing, sometimes referred to as probable-cause testing, is conducted when supervisors document observable signs and symptoms that lead them to believe that the individual may pose a danger to himself or herself, other employees, or the public.
It is extremely important to have clear, consistent definitions of what behavior justifies drug and alcohol testing.
Since this type of testing is at the discretion of management, it requires careful, comprehensive supervisor training.
Supervisors should be trained to consult with another supervisor or manager and always document:
Specific observations concerning appearance, behavior, speech, body odors, or performance
Violations of any safety rule or unsafe work incident, which after further investigation of the employee's behavior leads the supervisor to believe the employee may be unsafe
Other physical or existing indicators of alcohol or other drug use
It is very important to avoid any appearance of discriminatory testing.
Suspicion, rumors, or reports alone cannot be the basis of reasonable suspicion testing.
Suspicion should trigger investigations, which should result in documentation of observable signs and symptoms.
This alone should lead to reasonable suspicion testing.
Return-to-Duty & Follow-Up - Return-to-duty or follow-up testing is a one-time announced test that usually is used whenever an employee who has tested positive has completed the required treatment and is ready to return to the workplace.
Some employers also utilize this type of testing for any employee who has been absent for an extended period of time.
This time limit must be established in policy and, like all testing, return-to-duty testing must be consistently applied to all employees.
A very important benefit to utilizing our services is that we follow all state, municipal, and federal guidelines for drug and alcohol testing.
We only use certified collection sites, laboratories, and MRO's.
Based on the state you live in, we address these issues for you.
We also offer EAP services and regulatory compliance reporting.