Drug testing has been a popular workplace practice since the infancy of background screening. Today, most companies conduct some form of pre-employment drug testing before new hires can begin work. Some organizations also conduct post-hire testing due to reasonable suspicion, workplace accidents, and more.
Since states began passing legislation that allows medical and recreational marijuana use, more unregulated companies have started conducting random drug screening. Thanks, in part, to growing networks of drug testing facilities and better employer access, random drug and alcohol screens, similar to this 11 panel drug test, can be an inexpensive and useful tool for preventing drug abuse and misuse, accidents, and unsafe conditions in your workplace.
States and jurisdictions have varying regulations regarding random drug and alcohol testing, so be sure to consult your legal department when considering implementing a program. Here are some other best practices to consider when creating and implementing random workplace drug testing and alcohol testing programs in your organization.
1. Create a comprehensive policy and procedure (P&P) that follows legal regulations
Your P&P for random testing should have a concrete purpose, such as decreasing absenteeism and employee turnover or reducing on-the-job accidents. You can find several resources online that provide sample drug and alcohol policies for public use, but if you’d rather build your own P&P, some questions to answer can include:
- Who will implement, administer, maintain, and enforce the testing program?
- What kinds of tests will be conducted: urine, saliva, hair?
- Who will be tested? Are any employees exempt, and, if so, why?
- How many employees will be tested randomly? How often will they be tested?
- What are the consequences of violating the policy? What happens if an employee fails to complete a scheduled random test, refuses to test, or the completed test comes back positive?
- Will you provide Return-to-Work Agreements or employee assistance to individuals who fail a random test?
2. Educate your workforce about your random testing P&Ps
Employees should be educated on your company’s random testing P&P. Give employees copies of the written P&P and ensure they understand when they may be tested, how employees are randomly selected, how long they have to complete a test after notification, and any actions that may be taken in the case of a positive result.
3. Consistency is key
If your P&P involves offering employee assistance and Return-to-Work Agreements, don’t jump immediately to termination if a test comes back positive. Inconsistency tends to breed legislative consequences for business, so make a plan and stick to it every time.
4. Document everything
Documenting your P&Ps and each part of your random testing process can help protect your company against the consequences of legal scrutiny. If an employee files a lawsuit against your company’s drug and alcohol testing procedures, complete and thorough documentation can mean the difference between a judgment and a dismissal.
5. Partner with a professional
A professional background screener can help you create a compliant random testing program that improves the safety and productivity of your organization at minimal cost. With a professional screener, you also get the option to consolidate all of your pre-employment and post-hire background screening services under the umbrella of one experienced provider.
Professional and accredited background screeners, such as InfoMart, can assist you in creating, implementing, and managing a random drug and alcohol testing program. Experienced in DOT and non-DOT drug and alcohol testing, InfoMart knows the various laws and regulations that can impact your business and build programs customized to your needs. Contact InfoMart today to learn more.
Have you created a successful random drug and alcohol testing program at your company? Share your experience and advice with me on social media!
For additional resources you can use to develop your employees, check out my post on 8 Learning & Development Resources to Improve & Engage Your Workforce.
About Tammy Cohen:
In 1989, Cohen founded InfoMart, a multi-million dollar pre-employment screening company that provides services to Fortune 500 companies nationwide. InfoMart has numerous “Best Place to Work” awards from various organizations. As a recognized expert in the employment screening industry, Cohen is often referred to as “The Queen of Screen” and was influential in the founding of the screening industry’s first trade association, the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS). Cohen is actively involved in a number of business and civic organizations and has received numerous personal honors, including a commendation in the 152nd Congressional Record, the Entrepreneur of the Year award from YWCA of the USA, an Enterprising Woman of the Year Award from Enterprising Women, and the Phenomenal Women Award from the Siegel Institute.
InfoMart is an industry leader in background screening services, providing businesses the information they need to make well-informed hiring decisions. With more than 26 years in business, InfoMart is a pioneer in developing innovative technology and screening services, from criminal history searches to verifications of employment. Accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS), a designation earned by less than 10% of the industry, InfoMart has also been recognized on Workforce Magazine’s Hot List of Background Screening Providers for 10 consecutive years. The company prides itself on its dedication to customers, innovation, and accurate reporting. For more information about InfoMart, please visit www.infomart-usa.com or call (770) 984-2727.
Originally posted at http://www.infomart-usa.com/background-screening-news/5-best-practices-for-random-drug-and-alcohol-testing.html