About Non-DOT Random Drug and Alcohol Testing
Random drug and alcohol testing can be a helpful deterrent for reducing substance abuse in the workplace and identifying users that may not present the obvious signs and symptoms that a problem exists. Implementing a random drug and alcohol program can help employers to reduce the frequency of incidents, promote a culture of safety in the workplace, and facilitate treatment for workers who may be suffering from substance abuse.
SureHire uses a US DOT compliant random selection software ensuring each pull is kept completely random, reliable, and accurate. Companies have the capabilities to customize the random selection requirements to adhere to their internal policies and procedures. SureHire requires the following information for a Non-DOT Random Program:
- Testing frequency (e.g., monthly, quarterly, annually)
- Annual percentage of employees selected for testing (e.g., 80% annually) or the number of employees you would like selected during each random selection period (e.g., 10 employees monthly, quarterly or annually)
- Percentage or number of employees that should be selected as alternates during each selection period. This is not mandatory however, some clients prefer alternates in the event that one of the selected employees is not available for testing.
- The company’s Designated Employee Representative (DER) must submit the active employee list on or before the last day of the month, quarter or year (depending on the frequency outlined above), in order to have the pull completed on the 1st day of the following month, quarter or year (as applicable).
Types of Non-DOT Random Tests
- Lab-Based Urine. Testing urine in a controlled lab environment allows detection of the levels of multiple drugs within a single sample. Lab-based testing samples are securely packaged and sent directly to the lab with no results given at the time of testing.
- Lab-Based Oral Fluid. Lab-based Oral Fluid Drug Testing can be completed solely or in addition to express testing. In a lab-based test, an Oral Fluid sample is sent to a SAMHSA-certified lab to be tested with standardized equipment that provides a legally defensible quantitative result. This will identify the drug level in the body and the final result can be reviewed by a Medical Review Officer (MRO). Please note that all Lab-Based testing results can take up to 2-5 business days.
- Breath Alcohol. Breath alcohol testing is done using a Breathalyzer. It detects the presence of ethanol, which is released with the carbon dioxide in each breath. Breathalyzers are mobile, so these tests can be completed on-site.
Understanding Random Drug and Alcohol Test Results
In most cases, if an employee tests positive for a drug, it has been present in their system for less than the period of the drug’s half-life. However, the subject’s hydration level, the frequency of drug use, and how the drug was administered can all affect how long a drug’s presence is detectable in a biological sample.
Steps to Take After a Positive Test Result
If a positive result occurs, a Medical Review Officer (MRO) will contact the testing participant for further questioning. It is important that an employee undergoing urine drug testing completes an accurate history of all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal drug use before sample collection. Certain substances, over-the-counter or prescription drugs, may result in false positives due to cross-reactivity with other substances, although drug testing has evolved greatly over time to avoid this. The testing participant may be required to provide proof of a valid prescription if a positive result occurs.
Can I random test my employees whenever I feel the need?
Random drug and/or alcohol testing is a prima facie privacy violation. The fact that an employer’s workplace is dangerous does not, in and of itself, establish a legitimate need for random drug and alcohol testing. SureHire can help you determine when random testing is the correct option for your company and will help you assess the associated legal implications as they relate to your business. SureHire also offers online Reasonable Suspicion Training to help employers understand when drug and alcohol testing should/can be implemented.
What is the difference between DOT testing and non-DOT testing?
There are several notable differences between these programs; however, simply put, a DOT drug (or alcohol) test is a test done under DOT authority on a DOT-regulated employee, meaning that person is in a safety-sensitive position. Conversely, a non-DOT drug or alcohol test is typically done under an employer’s authority. The employer can decide which employees they want to test; they do not have to perform particular duties to qualify. Some additional differences include testing policy, scope of testing, type of specimens used, and prohibited and required conduct
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