6 Tips for an HR Manager to follow in an Employee Drug Screening Program

HR Manager

If you are a company or business owner, understanding the rules that govern your practice is very important especially when it comes to drug testing for existing and potential employees. Companies have in the past been slapped with heavy fines for failing to conduct mandated alcohol and drug tests on their employees and this is something you can avoid as an HR manager if you know what to do.

Apart from the failure to conduct the testing, there are also other major loopholes that should be avoided especially when dealing with different types of positions in the workplace. Here are 6 tips to follow as an HR manager when conducting a drug screening program.

1. Conduct random employee selection

When conducting a drug or alcohol testing exercise, an HR manager should at least do it randomly in such a way that gives all employees the same possibility of being selected. This will mean using a statistically legitimate random generator especially if the company is mandated to conduct random drug testing exercises by the regulatory bodies.

Companies such as airlines are required to carry out this exercise every now and then as a way of guaranteeing safety. It is also important to use a random generator for companies that have workplace policy to maintain a drug-free environment.

Whether you are conducting a random urine drug test, blood test or saliva drug test, it is important to make sure that it meets the practices while at the same time achieving compliance with the existing regulatory standards.

2. Avoid prolonged notices before testing

Employees can take measures likely to evade detection for drug use if given too much time between notice issuance and the actual testing process. As such, the time between the notice and any kind of drug test should be minimized to insulate the process from failure.

As an HR manager, you should avoid having a predictable schedule for alcohol and drug testing and instead conduct the testing within a few hours or minute after the notice. If possible, have the employees take the test in a way they’re unable to cheat the process.

Employees should also be willing to take the drug test within the specified timeframe and this should be well captured in the company policy. Failure to comply with this requirement should be interpreted as a refusal to take the test.

3. Follow the laid out regulations

There are several federal and state regulations that every HR manager should be aware of. These should be followed when conducting a drug test of any kind whether you are doing a drug test on potential employees or carrying out a random drug test at whatever time.

Federal and state regulations are meant to outline how such tests should be conducted and following them will help avoid any legal hurdles likely to come up during or after the drug screening. Some states have a list of drug tests that are permissible while others are prohibited for different reasons captured within their laws.

In order to comply with these regulations and avoid unnecessary costly fines, the HR manager and the company he works for should meet specific standards spelled out by regulating authorities including DOT and FAA.

4. Conduct tests that are fitting for your industry

Your unique needs should come into play when choosing the kind of testing to conduct. As such, it is good to tailor the drug testing exercise to your company’s specific needs. This guarantees effectiveness and also allows for the right results. In some cases and companies, not all workers need to be subjected to a random test especially if their positions aren’t safety sensitive.

5. Make sure the entire process is documented

The entire drug testing program should be documented right from the notification process to the actual screening. This is important especially because it will help protect your company or organization from any litigation from aggrieved employees or in event of any audit surrounding the same.

In some cases, certain employees could be picked multiple times during the random selection and this is likely to result in accusations that they are unfairly singled out. However, when there is proper documentation, such cases can be quashed without costing the organization.

6. Maintain privacy during and after the process

Privacy is very important when conducting a drug testing program. In many states, the law requires that drug testing results be communicated while maintaining confidentiality and this is something you don’t want to break especially when dealing with those who fail the test. As an HR manager, you don’t want to expose your organization to legal batters resulting from a breach of confidentiality.

With these 6 tips, it will be easy to carry out a successful employee drug screening program that will help keep your organization safe while at the same time maintaining productivity at all times. Always have the tests conducted professionally or use the right testing tools if you wish to conduct the tests within the organization. After a successful drug screening program, the initiative should be taken to discourage drug abuse among the employees. It will result in you in the future.

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Alisa Wu is a health and fitness writer and works at Cusabio, a biotech company that serves the field of life sciences research and offers protein production service. She shares articles on how to live healthier.


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