Companies conduct drug tests for different reasons such as promoting employee safety, healthy practices, boosting productivity, sustainability, and the organization’s profitability. When conducting the tests, you should follow the guidelines provided by the Department of Transportation (DOT). These guidelines will help you determine the Dos and Don’ts of conducting the drug tests.
Organizations must comply with these regulations; hence you need to observe the Do’s and Don’ts of the drug tests. You need to understand how to apply the rules legally and adequately. Here are some rules you can use when conducting drug tests.
The Dos of Drug Testing
Conduct reasonable suspicion drug test
You should order an instant drug test whenever you suspect the employees of using drugs. The employer is liable for the damages caused by employees when under drugs; hence you need to ensure they are free from drugs. The test should also consider the DOT regulations, which require the employer to conduct the tests based on suspicion. The other reason to conduct the tests immediately is that some drugs, such as alcohol, leave the body within a short duration. Therefore, you must run the DOT alcohol test as soon as possible.
When you doubt the employee, you should also order for the tests. These doubts include observing the employee’s behavior, such as drowsiness, aggression, and appearing absent-minded and dizzy. Whenever you suspect something off about them, order the tests immediately and remind them of the refusal clause.
Understand the drug laws
Every state has different drug laws that regulate how you should conduct the rules. You should always ensure you abide by the state and federal drug test laws to ensure you do not violate issues such as employee confidentiality and rights. You should familiarize yourself with the laws listed by the Department of Transport, Drug-Free Workplace Acts of 1988, marijuana laws, and other mandatory requirements. You should observe issues such as the duration when to conduct the tests and other compliance issues. The laws also guide who or the contractors to perform the tests.
Having drug policies
You need to have an effective drug policy that employees must have and be aware of them. The drug policies should not be verbal but written and must cover all the critical issues. The employees must have their copy and read the guidelines to understand them. The policies should cover issues such as the consequences of violating the policies, when to conduct the tests, how to run the tests, the employee rights, and who to conduct the tests. The guidelines ensure the employees do not complain or sue the employer for issues such as violating their rights.
Have the refusal to test clause
Sometimes employees may reject the drug test because they know the possibility of failing it. The refusal clause should contain consequences when anyone refuses to conduct the test. It should be a part of the drug test policy. Your policies should cover these consequences effectively, and the employees should be aware of them.
The Don’ts of drug tests
Do not practice double standards.
Every employee must undergo drug tests. All employees must be subjected to the drug test regardless of gender, color, sex, origin, and religion. Favoring other employees will violate workplace ethics and can promote other malpractices within the organization. It is the employer’s role to promote inclusivity, and you need to ensure those who violate the drug policies and fail the tests must be subjected to the punishments regardless of their differences.
Do not fail to train the supervisors.
The relevant departments and individuals in charge of drug tests should undergo training and know the latest drug test standards. The training should cover critical issues such as employee rights, the means of conducting the tests, and how to deal with those who fail to take the tests. You should constantly update the team about the latest drugs and how they can test for them. They must also understand the latest drug test kits. Ensure the testing includes those from the human resources departments to the drug testing team.
Do not do the test without informing employees
You must inform the employees about the drug test and when you wish to conduct it., The drug test policy is not enough to inform the employees. You need to inform them when conducting impromptu tests based on suspicion to ensure they comply with the testing requirements. Informing them of the drug test will reduce the possibility of resistance. Once you explain why you need to conduct the test, employees may easily comply with the test without complaints and denials.
Where do the tests apply?
Do not apply the DOT test requirements for businesses and companies not covered in the DOT regulations. For such companies, it is best to apply non-DOT drug tests. These tests vary in different ways and on critical issues such as the duration and the kits to use. However, conventional rules such as testing based on suspicion and doubt will apply for both tests. Sometimes, creating your drug test for the organization is best. You should write your policies based on the provisions of both DOT and non-DOT tests and only use the applicable rules.
These are the Dos and Don’ts of conducting DOT drug tests. Many more can apply, but these are the most effective ones. You mainly need to observe the requirements and regulations for conducting the tests. You also need to follow the test regulations (state and federal) to ensure you do not violate employee rights and do not apply the DOT regulations for the organizations where they are not applicable.