The federal government maintains strict laws that require the transportation industry to perform drug testing. What about companies that are not in the transportation industry?
There are very few federal laws concerning drug testing by companies with non-safety-sensitive employees. However, there are some stipulations with the Labor Law that do address the issue of drug testing. These laws state that the employer must have a written policy available to every employee. The other consideration is consistency. If your company policy states that an employee is terminated for a positive drug screen, then every employee that tests positive must be terminated.
Types of Non DOT Testing
Pre-employment drug screening is your first line of defense when screening your prospective employees. Serious employment prospects should be sent for a drug screen and only hired upon a negative result.
Random testing is a popular choice among employers due to its high deterrent effect. Employers may choose a random selection frequency of monthly or quarterly. A computer program electronically generates our randoms. Our program ensures that every employee has the same chance of being selected.
Post accident drug testing is usually performed following an accident where any of the following occurrences have taken place:
- An accident involving a fatality.
- An accident that requires any employee involved to seek immediate medical attention.
- An accident that requires a workers comp claim to be filed.
Reasonable suspicion - Some companies do require employees to submit to reasonable suspicion testing when a trained supervisor or company official has reason to believe that the employee may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Return To Duty testing is usually performed when company policy allows an employee to return to work following a positive drug screen.
Return to Duty - If an employee passes his/her Return To Duty test and is allowed by company policy to return to work, Follow-Up testing is used to encourage the employee to "stay clean". Follow-Up testing usually involves 3 - 6 unannounced drug screens administered within the next 12 months of employment. Follow-Up testing should be used in conjunction with other types of drug screening (such as random).
Other testing may be determined by company guidelines and may be applicable such as annual testing, periodic and pre- access for stringent clients.
Drug Screen Results
Negative results are processed by the SEOT staff and reported by fax or email to the company's confidential contacts. All reports are confidential; therefore, strict procedures are in place to insure that only designated company officials receive information regarding test results.
Positive results are processed by SEOT’s Medical Review Officer following similar rules that apply to federal drug testing. The MRO makes every effort to contact the donor to discuss the possibility of a medical explanation. If no written medical explanation is given, the result is verified as positive. When the paperwork is completed, the result is reported verbally to the company's confidential contact and a written confirmation is sent by mail marked "Confidential". The same procedure is followed to report the test result if it is confirmed negative by written documentation from a physician.
Once a positive result has been verified by the MRO, the following disciplinary actions are suggested:
- 48-72 hours suspension with return to duty testing required every month for at least 6 months.