You either have a random drug and alcohol testing program (random test) or you don’t. Is your firm in the habit of selecting an employee, who you suspect of being impaired, for a random test selection? I was recently explaining the advantages of a random testing program to a company. (In a prior blog post we explain in detail these advantages.)
I was told that they had a random testing program. If they suspect someone of being under the influence they select that person for a random test.
That is not a random drug testing program.
What can happen if you don’t have a REAL random testing program? Assume one of your employees was under the influence while operating one of your vehicles and killed a third party. Think this doesn’t happen? In a prior blog post we list actual situations.
Then imagine being in front of a plaintiff attorney and jury trying to explain a “sham” or “non-existent” random testing program after your employee killed someone while operating your vehicle and was under the influence? I can hear the plaintiff attorney question now “You mean to tell me and the jury that you have 50 employees operating vehicles and you don’t care to take reasonable precautions to test if they are driving for you while they are under the influence?” What would you say? See here for some examples of how random drug and alcohol testing have actually worked in the real world.
What does a real random drug testing program look like?
Random selection must be mathematically random.
Putting the names of employees in a bowl and selecting a few is not a truly random selection process that can be defended in a court of law. The random selection process must be mathematically based and defensible in a court of law. It is possible to have Excel select random selections once you have the pool of employees on a spreadsheet. Or, random selection software is available.
The selected donor must have no prior knowledge of being selected and the drug test must occur immediately.
What do I mean? You can’t give the donor advance notice of being selected for a random test. And, the test must occur the same day the individual is selected for the random test. One company once told me that one of their clients required their employees to be randomly tested. They didn’t want any of their employees to test positive. So, they would tell the employee they were going to be selected a week ahead of time. Then they would give that same employee three days to go to the collection clinic and provide the specimen.
Call us if you have any questions about random drug and alcohol testing or if you want to discuss implementation.