Employee Workplace Drug Testing

Employee Drug Testing, Workplace Drug Testing,
DOT and non-DOT Regulated Companies Drug-Free Workplace Program Management

Employee Drug Tests: The Six Different "Types" and
"Timing" to Administer These Six Drug Tests to Your Employees

Employee drug testing works! Since 1988, “The Drug Testing Index”™ report has been updated and released annually by Quest Diagnostics Laboratories (>9.5 million drug tests of USDOT-regulated and "general workforce" employees performed during 2019).  There is no longer any question: ongoing employee drug testing results in dramatically lowering employee drug test “positivity” rates.  Check these statistics:

  In 1988, 13.6% of the tested employee workforce were positive for one or more drugs

  In 1991, 8.8% of the tested employee workforce were positive for one or more drugs

  In 2001, 4.7% of the tested employee workforce were positive for one or more drugs

  In 2016, 4.4% of the tested employee workforce were positive for one or more drugs 

  In 2019, 4.5% of the tested employee workforce were positive for one or more drugs 

A stabilizing progress since 1988, yes; perfection, no!  But, do you see how effective ongoing drug testing of the workforce has become?

Unfortunately, employers must continue drug testing today because employee drug-abuse continues today! OHS Inc. can help your company become and stay a drug-free workplace no matter where you are located in the USA, no matter how many locations you have nationwide. Contact us for a quote!

Employee drug testing services including pre-employment, random, and reasonable suspicion (aka, "for cause"), post-accident, return to duty, and follow-up employee drug testing is provided nationwide - all 50 states - by OHS Inc.  Onsite drug tests of 10 or 1,010 of your employees or employee candidates - at your company's offices, job sites, or Job Fairs - can also be easily scheduled by OHS locally, regionally, and nationwide (visit: Onsite collections vs. Clinic collections).

  • Just over 60% of the entire World's illicit drugs are consumed by the population living in just "one" country.
  • That "one" country is our United States...representing only 4.52% of the entire World's population.
  • Only 23% of our nation's drug-abusers are the "typically-portrayed" people sitting in abandoned buildings and back alleys of our cities "shooting up" heroin or "snorting coke".
  • The other 77% of drug-abusers are full or part-time EMPLOYED! (If you are not presently drug testing your employees, "some" of those 77% are likely employed by your company!)
Employee drug testing SHOULD involve six (6) "types" and "timings" of drug testing in your workplace.

Separately administered, each of the six "types" of employee drug tests defined and explained below is important and effective "to an extent", especially, for their purpose of their "timing".  But, when all six types are fully employed together, employee drug testing builds and maintains a solid Drug-Free Workplace program.

Too few companies that do drug testing realize that "Random" drug tests and "Reasonable Suspicion" drug tests are actually the two MOST important and effective drug testing types to DETER workplace drug use. Unfortunately, both are less utilized by companies that drug test than "Pre-employment" drug tests. Yet, BOTH drug test types offer MUCH more of the important deterrence effect. Employees doing drugs or dealing drugs in the workplace are far more unlikely to do so when random drug testing is in place. Why?

Random drug testing is essentially "surprise" drug testing- once the employee is tapped on the shoulder, they can't opt out. On the other hand, pre-employment drug tests are the "easiest" of the six types of tests for job candidates to "pass". That is because your job applicants usually have sufficient advance notice of being tested (i.e., the window from time of the interview invitation to time of the actual interview appointment). This helps drug-users to avoid a drug test that has a "Positive" result.

Further, even if your hiring ad does not state, "We require drug testing of all applicants."...today, the unemployed drug-user looking for work knows that the vast majority of companies are now doing at least "pre-employment" testing. This knowledge enables drug-user applicants to stay "clean" for enough hours (e.g., alcohol) or enough days (with many drugs, only 1-2 days needed) to then test "Negative" and get hired! If they DO use drugs or are alcoholics (also a "drug", remember), what do you think they will do with their first paycheck???

Employers: to view just how short the time-frame is that most drugs are "detectable" when testing urine of a job candidate (e.g., in advance of a "Pre-employment" drug test) please click this link: Drug Detection Time Frame  (With most drugs, if the job candidate "abstains" from using for 2-3 days beforehand, they will likely test "negative" on the day of their interview).

1. Pre-employment Drug Tests

Pre-employment drug testing is the most common "type" of workplace drug testing employed in the general workforce. Legally, pre-employment testing can be required of a job candidate only after a formal "Conditional Offer of Employment" has been made. Companies with USDOT-regulated employees (transportation, oil-gas, etc.) are required under 49 CFR Part 40 et al to do pre-employment testing. Non-regulated companies are not required to do pre-employment tests. But each year, a growing percentage of non-regulated companies do so. Pre-employment testing is a good policy since it is an early first-step in establishing and maintaining a Drug-Free Workplace. OHS, Inc. can conduct pre-employment testing of 10 to 1,010 job candidates "onsite" at company locations and at Job Fairs anywhere in the 50 USA states!

2. Random Drug Tests

Drug testing on a "random" basis is not as common as pre-employment drug testing. It should be. The real purpose of random testing is NOT to "catch" employees that are using drugs. It is to prevent employee workplace drug abuse. Random employee drug testing is THE most effective deterrent of employee workplace drug-use. And simply...that's because "the fear of being caught" (and losing their job and income) is THE most effective deterrent.

Think about it: have you ever seen someone purposely accelerate their car through a "red" light (after the "yellow" light had already changed), and a POLICE CAR was ALSO in plain view? The smart company keeps their random program "high profile" and "well-publicized" by notices in the parking lot, workplace, coffee break room and even occasionally inside their pay envelope. This ensures that ALL employees are aware of its frequent occurrence throughout the year. Employees consistently being reminded of the chance of being "randomly" selected for a drug test "at any time" and "without any advance warning" is the BEST test "type" to deter workplace drug use. OHS, Inc. can provide "randomly-scheduled" random testing onsite - at your offices or job site - anywhere in the USA!

3. Reasonable Suspicion (aka, "For Cause") Drug Tests

Testing for "Reasonable Suspicion" is a type of test too little utilized by companies. That is true even with those companies that routinely do both pre-employment and random drug testing. The reason is that most companies do not bother to get their supervisors and managers properly trained in how to recognize the "indicators" of employee workplace drug use. Without the proper training, supervisors and managers do not know what to do about it if they did observe such indicators!

The USDOT requires "Reasonable Suspicion" training for supervisors of companies with DOT-regulated employees. Because there is no such "law" or "regulation" requiring companies with non-regulated employees to do so, few of them do. That is a big mistake because of all six "types" of drug testing, tests done for "reasonable suspicion" result in "positive-for-drugs" at a higher percentage (11.0% for DOT-regulated and 31.9% for "general workforce in 2015) than for any of the other five types of drug tests.

OHS, Inc. offers an extremely effective "online" Reasonable Suspicion Supervisor Training program. We strongly recommend you put all your supervisors and managers through it even if you do not have DOT-regulated employees. This special training covers all the subjects of "Workplace Drug-Abuse Awareness" and "Reasonable Suspicion" drug testing required by the USDOT. Their training will definitely help keep your company's workplace - and your employees, customers, vendors - much safer!

4. Post-accident Drug Tests

Testing for drugs following an on-the-job accident has become somewhat a "standard" type of workplace drug testing for many companies. That is policy even for some companies that do not do any other type of testing. Why?

In most states, an employee that tests "positive" for one or more drugs immediately following an on-the-job accident may be legally subject to dismissal "for cause". They also may sometimes be held ineligible to receive certain benefits. Either or both unemployment insurance and Workers' Compensation can be lost! If your company does not now do post-accident testing, OHS Inc. strongly suggests that you BEGIN!

5. Return to Duty Drug Tests- for previously suspended employees

Passing a drug test as a condition of a "Return to Duty" is required of DOT-regulated employees. That is, "IF" their company's written Drug-Free Workplace Policy allows for re-hire after a policy rule violation. Return to Duty testing also requires a prior completion of a successful counseling by a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) before re-hire. (DOT-regulated company policies are NOT required to allow for re-hire after a drug policy rule violation. But they must stipulate that in their written policy if that is the case.)

Return to Duty drug tests are essentially "pre-employment" tests. The suspended employee is re-applying for the position they lost. OHS, Inc. strongly recommends that non-regulated companies that have a re-hire policy also implement this same Return to Duty testing process as is required by the DOT for DOT-regulated employees.

6. Follow-up Drug Tests- applied only to previously suspended employees "if" re-hired

Follow-up employee tests are another DOT requirement upon re-hire. That is, if re-hire is allowed under company's written policy (see Return to Duty, above). A minimum of five (5) such "Follow-up" drug tests of the reinstated employee are required in the first 12 months following re-hire. Under DOT rules, these five Follow-up tests must be scheduled "randomly" throughout the year. They are to be administered IN ADDITION TO any employee drug testing ALSO required under "Random", "Reasonable Suspicion", or "Post-accident" causes during the same 12 months.

OHS Inc. manages Drug-Free Workplace Programs for small and large companies Nationwide.

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