Blog

 
     

Drug Testing Policies

By Michael Klazema on 3/18/2015


On October 30, 2014, backgroundchecks.com issued a compliance update on the subject of drug testing and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Since that update, another large retailer has settled a lawsuit with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for alleged violations of the ADA.

The facts in the two cases are similar in that both employers allegedly failed to hire applicants who could not perform a pre-employment urinalysis drug test because of a disability. 
In light of these two settlements with the EEOC, now is a good time to review your pre-employment drug testing procedures to ensure they are compliant with the ADA and other anti-discriminatory laws.

First, it is wise to have a clear, written drug-testing policy in place. This will limit claims that your testing is discriminatory or without clear intent. Your policy may include any number of requirements, including answers to the following questions:

  • Will the test be conducted by your staff or by an outside company?
  • What types of tests will be used (e.g., urine, hair, sweat, saliva, etc.)?
  • What types of drugs are you testing for (e.g., standard panel of drugs, steroids, other specific drugs)?
  • How are individuals selected to undergo this screening?
  • How will the test results be protected or kept confidential?
  • What are the consequences of a positive drug test?
  • What are the consequences of a refusal to take the test?
  • What recourse does an individual have if he or she thinks that a positive test was a mistake?
  • What happens if the individual cannot provide a urine specimen?

Because company personnel are not always aware that a disability may be the reason for an individual’s inability or refusal to provide a urine specimen, procedures should be in place to protect the company and the individual in these situations. A good practice is to have a policy instructing managers and supervisors to escalate matters to the human resources department whenever an individual cannot provide a urine specimen. Another good practice is to include an interactive section on your drug testing consent form that instructs the individual to indicate his or her inability to provide a urine specimen, and directs the individual to escalate the matter within the company’s human resources department.  Finally, every drug-testing policy should include an alternative form of drug testing.

We recommend that you contact your legal counsel for a review of your drug testing policy to ensure compliance with the ADA and other anti-discrimination laws.

What this update means for you:

  • Employers should consider creating a drug testing policy.
  • Drug testing policies should address what to do if an individual refuses or is unable to provide a urine specimen.
  • You should work with your lawyer to create a drug testing policy.

Tag Cloud
Categories
Recent Posts

Latest News

  • July 17 — Hourly Employee Screening: What Makes It Unique and Important infographic?Modern employers conduct background checks on most of the people they hire. These checks are most often used to screen full-time salaried workers. Part-timers and hourly employees are typically less likely to face a thorough background check or even go through a background screening at all. According to a survey conducted by HR.com, 67 percent of employers screen all of their part-time employees, compared to 83 percent of their full-time employees.
  • July 17 A Kentucky school district recently decided to stop paying for volunteer background checks. Going forward, volunteers will be expected to cover the cost of their own checks, which is $10 per person.
  • July 12 Seeking fresh employees for businesses, some states seek to reduce the number of people denied employment based on old or nonviolent crimes.
  • July 11 Multinational aerospace company - Safran Group - trusts backgroundchecks.com to screen new hires, The products they manufacture can have major implications for aircraft safety and worldwide security. As such, the company needs to be extremely careful and deliberate about who it trusts to join the organization.
  • July 11 Recently cited for driving too fast? Here’s what a speeding ticket will do to your background check report.
  • July 10

    Could your business be vulnerable to employee theft? Protect yourself with more thorough background checks.


  • July 09 While Social Security Numbers aren’t required for criminal history checks, they can be beneficial. Here’s why.
  • July 05

    In June, Chicago Public Schools came under fire after a Chicago Tribune piece accused the district of not protecting students from sexual abusers. The district has announced plans to run background checks on all employees.


  • July 04 — How important are volunteer background checks? Do they even matter?
    Organizations that rely in part on volunteer labor consistently find themselves asking these questions. The assumption is usually that volunteer background checks are less important than background checks for full-time or part-time employees. According to a CareerBuilder survey from 2016, 72 percent of employers conduct background checks on all employees. A parallel statistic isn’t even available for volunteer checks. They are less common – and less valued.
  • July 03 #MeToo harassment allegations continue to reshape workplaces in every industry. As a result, many companies are looking to safeguard themselves from liability.