Companies often ask for drug testing for their employees. There are certain labs that offer such services, but it is not a bad thing for employers to know what really happens during drug screening.
For instance, you should be aware of the fact that each state has particular laws related to how screening preparations must be made, how employees must be notified and how drug testing providers must be selected. With drug testing providers readily available, it is actually quite handy for companies to ask for such tests when the need arises.
A term you might have heard of is “reasonable cause or suspicion”. This refers to the fact that employees can be suspected of using illegal substances while at work or while performing any other official functions. Such substances include alcohol, drugs, and even abuse of controlled substances.
For successful testing, employees must do the following:
- Schedule a visit to the lab performing the test
- Provide the lab with their registration, in print or digital form
- Consume up to 20 ounces of water 45 minutes ahead of the scheduled test
In case you want your employees to be tested for alcohol consumption, the lab should confirm that they have a breathalyzer they can use before the scheduled visits. This way, you will have the confirmation that the tests will be carried out and you will be able to learn the results afterwards.
Before The Test
Companies usually notify their employees that they will be required to do a drug test a few days ahead. This means that the donors are expected to come with their own samples from home. After that, the lab will be in charge of performing the urinalysis. Further testing, like GC/MS are usually performed at another facility, and just about 5% of all such tests are performed at the same place as the facility where the collection of samples took place.
What happens on screening day?
If the testing takes place at the employer’s location, the area must be secured in advance. All the paperwork regarding the custody of samples must be completed.
Someone must be named in charge of the process, as the collection site person. This means that this person must supervise the collection of urine samples.
Two containers should be used for each employee, so that the employer can ask for a second testing at another lab.
NOTE: not all drugs tests are completed using urine samples. The hair follicle drug test is becoming a more popular choice. Click here to learn more about the test.
Each employee who must be tested should be able to provide samples of urine in amount of 45 ml or more. If the employee refuses to provide the required amount, their action can be suspected as being an attempt to cheat the drug screening (maybe they smoked weed legally).
The employee will have to consume 24 ounces of water in front of the supervisor and provide a sample after two hours. Failure to do so can lead to having the employee sent for a medical investigation to establish their incapacity to provide an adequate urine sample.
Who is involved afterwards?
The three involved parties are the employee, the employer and the medical review officer (MRO).
What does the medical review consist of?
A certified MRO will be required to interpret the drug test results. This involves contacting the donor, so that the MRO can establish if the results are perfectly accurate. During the interview, essential information can be revealed in order to confirm or infirm the results sent by the lab. The MRO will be in charge of reporting a positive or negative result, in case no reasons for further review are identified.
After the MRO reviews the results, the employer will receive the results as well.
What does the employee review consist of?
The donor is entitled to review the results on their own. In case they do not think the results are accurate, they can ask for a retest within the next 72 hours. Employers should get informed on how to defend themselves in case their test results are positive, and how to protect their rights to privacy.
What does the employer review consist of?
First things first, employers must be well informed on the legislation regarding such tests specific to their state and industry.
Your HR department should be in charge of enforcing the existing policies, so that clear courses of action can be taken in case of a positive result. Follow up testing can be used to establish whether a certain employer has consumed or not drugs. Since employers are allowed to ask the employee to pay for a second test, motivation does exist for the tests to offer clear results from the first time.
Because employees who use drugs and other illegal substances are a liability to any company, and they can hurt themselves and other employees, such tests are required. Employers are in charge of caring after their safety and health, and they are entitled to ask for drug testing.