Developing an Drug & Alcohol Testing Policy

GENERAL STATEMENT Create a general statement in your substance policy prohibiting employees from work under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or other controlled substances This should be in your employee handbook
  Company commitment to provide a safe, quality-oriented, and productive workplace Alcohol and drug abuse pose a threat to the health and safety of company employees and to the security of the company’s equipment and resources
  Scope of policy Applies whenever employees are working, operating a company vehicle, are present on company property, or are conducting work-related business offsite
POLICIES Know and understand applicable laws and regulations

Federal laws include:

·    the Drug-Free Workplace Act

·    the Americans with Disabilities Act

·    the Family and Medical Leave Act

·    the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FRCA) and

·    the U.S. Department of Transportation regulations

  Confidentiality Statement Include a statement that test results are confidential
  Prohibited Use Using, possessing, buying, selling, manufacturing or dispensing an illegal drug, including the possession of drug paraphernalia
    Being under the influence of alcohol or any illegal substance
    Possessing or consuming alcohol or illegally possessing or consuming any controlled substances



Define substances in policy  
  Prescription Medications Employees using a prescribed medication must carry it in the original container from a licensed pharmacist or must produce this if requested
    If abuse of prescription drugs is suspected, approach the issue as one of general employee misconduct, instead of drug use to avoid violating HIPAA regulations
    Illegal drugs or drug paraphernalia will released to law enforcement and may result in criminal prosecution
  Medical Marijuana Check state laws to determine if employees are protected from discipline if they are under the influence of marijuana for medical purposes
  Rehabilitation Programs Include information on rehabilitation programs for employees
Job Applicants Conduct the test when you have made the candidate selection All applicants must pass a drug test before starting employment or prior to receiving an offer of employment
    Refusal to submit to drug testing will result in disqualification from further employment consideration
After a Work-Related Accident or Incident Investigation of suspicious circumstances of a workplace accident Define this in policy
    Test all parties involved to help determine liability and to clear company of legal responsibility
  Clearly detail who and when employees will be tested



Random Employee Testing Random testing does not connote surprise testing Know and understand state drug and alcohol laws, as some states prohibit random testing
    Use an outside third-party
  Design selection to result in an equal probability that any employee from a group of employees will be tested Company will not have discretion to waive selection of employees chosen in random selection method
Reasonable Suspicion Testing Testing of employees who exhibit reasonable evidence of substance abuse  
  Provide training for those making such evaluations  
Work-Related Functions Include descriptions of sanctioned work functions


Examples include Holiday party (consider a drink limit) and entertaining clients


TESTING Define the type of testing that may be required Examples include urinalysis, blood testing, and hair testing
  Other details to be included in policy regarding testing procedures

· Select a testing review contact

· Identify collection sites

· Identify a substance abuse professional

· Test all covered employees for controlled substance and alcohol

· Comply with record keeping and reporting regulations

  Define the consequences of a positive drug or alcohol test Detail exact substance levels that will trigger a negative consequence
  Define the consequences of refusing to take the drug test  
POLICY DISTRIBUTION Distribute the policy to employees Provide drug and alcohol information to all employees subject to testing
  Educate and train supervisors  
  The policy should guide determinations as to when an employee should be tested  
  Adhere to the policy in a consistent manner Do not single out employees for any reason outside of the scope of the policy
APPROACHING AND REPORTING EMPLOYEES Detail the protocol for approaching and reporting employees suspected of violating the policy  
  Consider inquiring if the employee has a medical condition or disability that causes him/her to exhibit such characteristics If the employee answers yes, discuss accommodations that might aid them in their job
Search of Property Policy should include provision that all company property is subject to search Consult with legal consult to ensure employees do not have an expectation of privacy
Disciplinary Action If employee tests positive for drug use or fails a sobriety test, determine the level of disciplinary action to be taken Consult with HR and performance improvement policy
REHABILITATION Another option would be to enroll the employee in a rehabilitation program and allowing him/her to return to work upon successful completion Remember federal protections when determining disciplinary actions, as some employees may be protected under the ADA…That law prohibits discrimination against recovering alcoholics in treatment

Other alternatives:

· Employee assistance program

· Supervisor training on  recognition of the signs of drug or alcohol impairment

· Employee education on issues and risks associated with drug and alcohol abuse


Print Page

Stay Up To Date