Question: We drug test all new hires, but what are my options if I suspect an employee is taking drugs after they are hired?
Answer: It begins with a solid stand-alone drug & alcohol policy. Employers implement new-hire drug testing programs to protect their businesses from the impact of drug abuse before making hiring decisions and help to promote a safe and stable work environment for their employees. Incorporating reasonable suspicion testing will increase the impact on employee safety and productivity, and addresses your concern. This represents an agreement between employer and employee, and is not intended to ambush employees. It should disclose who and when to test, how to document the reasonable suspicion activity and what actions will be taken. Make sure your employees know they are subject to reasonable suspicion drug testing.
Supervisors should be trained on reasonable suspicion signs, symptoms and documentation. Determinations should be made based on current information and not previous behavior or hearsay. Determining if and when an employee should be tested for reasonable suspicion of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol should be based on specific, contemporaneous and articulable events indicating the observer has a specific and current concern that can be described.
Most important, never let the employee under suspicion, drive alone to the collection site. Imagine who might be at fault if they are involved in a car crash on the way to being drug tested because the employer suspects impairment. When properly administered, it is a fair and reliable testing method that can help to both deter and detect drug and alcohol use on the job.