Drug testing is more common than ever in the hiring process and during employment. It is a great way to help filter out applicants who engage in the use of illicit substances. Unfortunately, there are those who may try to tamper with or manipulate a drug test to pass it. This has led to employers taking precautions and using methods to help prevent tampering, with one of these being observation of a drug test.

During observation, someone of the same sex will follow the person into the bathroom to watch them perform a urine test to prevent manipulation. While this method may be effective, there are concerns from both employees and employers as to whether this is legal. Continue reading to find out the exact details and legality regarding observation during a urine drug test.

Reasons for Urine Drug Test Observation

As mentioned above, employers will use observation during a test in an attempt to limit the potential for tampering or contamination of the sample. This is necessary because some people will use methods to fool the test, such as using someone else’s urine, putting chemicals in the sample, and more. Having someone there to observe the sample collection certainly eliminates this issue, but sometimes at the cost of making employees feel uncomfortable or violated.

Is It Legal to Observe Employees During a Urine Drug Test?

It is still legal in many states to observe the sample collection during urine testing for drugs. There have been several court cases involving this subject, as it is being viewed as a violation of privacy rights. One of the more well known of these cases is Lunsford v. Sterilike of Ohio. A court of appeals had found that this method of sample collection was a violation of employees right to privacy, but later on, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled in favor of the company. So, while this is technically still a legal practice, there are more employees and courts who are beginning to stand against it.

Alternatives to Observation During Urine Testing for Drugs

The primary reason for observation is to minimize the chance of tampering, but other methods are shown to be effective at this as well. These methods include listening to urination during the test, using dyed toilet water, checking the temperature of the urine, pat downs, or requiring the employees to wear a hospital gown during the test. These are all methods that can be just as effective in reducing the chance of tampering while also not invading the privacy of employees.

Is Observation During Sample Collection Necessary?

Yes, observation is pretty much a sure-fire way to avoid the potential for tampering, but it is far from necessary. Since other methods are just as effective, many employers tend to favor these instead. Observation can lead to employees feeling uncomfortable and violated, and potentially seeking recourse if the company policy is not clear on requiring observation during sample collection.

Searching for Accurate and Reliable Urine Drug Testing?

If you have had trouble finding reliable urine drug tests for employees, then we are here to help. Soteria Screening Lab offers a wide array of tests to suit the needs of every company or individual. We offer multiple panel versions of urine tests, depending on the needs of the company. If further testing is desired, we also offer saliva and follicle testing as well. If you have any questions about our tests or services, then feel free to email us at info@soteriascreening.com or call us at (202) 679-6670.

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