Non-DOT Random Drug Testing

Can Non-Regulated or Non-DOT employers conduct Non-DOT random testing of employees? The answer is Yes but check your State Laws. Typically for safety sensitive employees, it is always legal to conduct random drug testing. Random testing programs provide a deterrent to employee drug use. These programs can also be helpful for early identification of an individual experimenting with drugs.

Always look at having a drug free workplace policy when starting a random drug testing program.

What can happen if you conduct random substance abuse testing for a non-regulated company?

To follow on with this fictional company, this company has decided to conduct random drug testing on all personnel including senior management.  The company elected to go with the recommended 10-panel drugs of abuse test panel to be tested and the cutoff levels as recommended by the selected SAMHSA accredited laboratory.  All of this was discussed with the HR Manager and a Vice-President of the company. 

During this discussion, it is recommended that all employees be given a 60 notice for the company implementation of random drug testing.  It is also recommended that all employees and future employees sign a notice acknowledging that they are aware of the substance abuse testing program and that the program will encompass random drug testing.

Part of the discussion is what random testing percent they want along with the particulars for random testing.  These are issues that should be spelled out in the company policy that is being developed.  The HR Manager is agreeable to the policy and all the terms and information that should be contained in this policy.

The HR Manager and the Vice-President agree on doing random testing at a rate of 50% per annum with random testing selections performed once per month.  It is also agreed that all personnel will be eligible for random selection with each selection.

The discussion turns to what should happen if a selectee is sick, on vacation or unable to take the test as required per company policy.  It is decided to make alternate selection when this event occurs. Again, another point to be addressed in policy.

Another point of discussion is for the notification to an individual to take a random drug test and how long should an employee be given to report for the test.  It is decided that the immediate supervisor of the selected individual should be informed and to direct the employee to report immediately to take the test.

At this point the discussion turns to refusal and what should happen if the individual refuses to take the test or refuses to report to the collection facility.  More policy issues to be incorporated into the policy.

Another discussion item is what type of company action should be taken if there is non-negative test result.  It is decided that the company will offer a one-time chance for the individual to go through and complete a treatment rehabilitation program.  This will be paid for by the company’s health insurance program.

The Vice-President inquires about confidentiality of the selection and the handling of the test results.  All of that and the fine points were discussed and addressed.  It was decided to put certain things in policy.  The Vice-President wants to consult with the company’s attorney first before implementation of the program to see what legal issues need to be further addressed.

As the service provider you readily agree to that request and offer to meet with the attorney in conjunction with the Vice-President and the HR Manager to discuss the program.  You recommend that this meeting take place after the draft policy and associated forms have been completed.

All parties agree that a slow carefully thought out approach for drug testing is the best way to reduce any liability on the part of the company.

As a footnote, it is identified that the President is retired military and knows the value of having a drug-free workplace and the benefits that having a drug-free workplace.

This company is now on good footing to implementing a drug test program in a non-regulated company and to have a drug-free workplace.

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