Employee Tests Positive for Drugs – How does a Challenge Work?
It is important that an employee be given fair treatment. Drug testing occurs at SAMHSA certified laboratories that routinely inspected and have strict quality control measures in place. Rarely is there a mistake.
Once an employee is notified by the employer that a positive drug testing result has been received, there are few options for the employee. One option is to request a retest of the specimen. When a split specimen sample is collected, the second sample bottle B is retained by the lab for a potential retest when the original sample is positive. This is called split sample testing. When a single sample is collected the lab saves an amount of the original specimen for possible retest when the original sample is positive.
An employee who has been notified by the Medical Review Officer (MRO) of a verified positive drug test or refusal to test because of adulteration or substitution, has 72 hours from the time of notification to request a test of the split specimen or retest of the original specimen. The request may be verbal or in writing. If the request is made directly to the MRO within 72 hours it will trigger the test of a split specimen or retest of the original specimen. The employee will be responsible for the cost of the test of the split specimen or for the cost of the retest of the original specimen, typically around $200.00.
When the employee makes a timely request for a test of the split specimen or a retest of the original specimen; the MRO will immediately provide written notice to the laboratory that tested the primary specimen, directing the laboratory to forward the split specimen or portion of the original specimen to a second SAMHSA certified laboratory. The MRO will document the date and time of the employee’s request and report to the Company whether the test confirmed the presence of the drug.
Steps for the Employee:
- Call or fax the MRO office and request a retest within the 72 hour period
- Be prepared to submit payment in advance for the retest, typically around $200.00