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Drug Testing in Today’s Workforce


Whichever drug testing process is best for your company, it must be documented, posted and signed off on by the employees. Even if you are not planning to test at all, you need to establish a policy concerning drugs, cannabis and alcohol. Your policy should clearly set the expectations that employees are not to come to work under the influence and cannot transfer, buy or sell drugs, cannabis or alcohol at work.

Gone are the days when you can require a random drug test. If you would like to do drug testing due to reasonable suspicion, proper steps need to be in place to make that happen. Be sure your supervisors and managers are trained in your Drug, Cannabis and Alcohol policy.

Prior to any testing, you must have a policy in place and be set up with an official testing laboratory. The testing laboratory will send you sample collection cups and set up your account with the proper testing panels. If you have safety sensitive positions in your organization, you will need a 5-panel test. All other position testing must be a 4-panel test.As the employer, you will give the applicant/employee a sample collection cup (as provided by the testing lab) and make an appointment at the clinic. The clinic will document the evidence trail and submit the samples to the proper laboratory. The laboratory will share the results with you, the employer.

Some employers choose to do pre-employment testing. Selected candidates must be offered a position based on a successful pre-employment testing. Should the candidate fail the test, they have a right to be retested. All selected candidates that receive a job offer must test.

Some employers choose to have a Reasonable Suspicion Testing option. Certain triggers must be documented to perform reasonable suspicion testing. These triggers may include an accident where damage was done, or employees appearing to be under the influence at work. Before doing a drug test based on reasonable suspicion, employers will want to be trained and have a second opinion.
Positions that fall under Department of Transportation (DOT) testing requirements must follow the DOT testing rules. A medical review process may be involved.

Safety Sensitive Positions should be listed on the job description. Safety Sensitive Positions that may be tested for Cannabis (5-panel test) include:

  • Peace officers
  • Firefighters
  • Positions requiring face-to-face care, training, education, supervision, counseling, consultation or medical assistance to children and vulnerable adults
  • Positions of employment funded by a federal grant
  • Any other position for which state or federal laws require testing of a job applicant or an employee
  • Other safety sensitive positions

For assistance in developing a strong and compliant Drug, Cannabis and Alcohol policy, contact the professionals at Vinna Human Resources!

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