Drug Testing is a standard part of the hiring process for most industries. But with many companies choosing to hire remote workers now more than ever, the question has been raised about how to change drug testing protocols for remote workers, or are drug tests even necessary at this time?

Drug Testing Should Continue Even While Hiring Remote Workers

All across the country, many employers are discussing how to deal with returning-to-work procedures.  There is one thing that many agree should not be compromised, and that is drug testing. Studies have shown that drug use has increased during the pandemic, and it has remained at high levels for months following lockdown. Drug overdoses are on the rise in many areas during this time. People who have used in the past are turning to their old habits for comfort during this troubling time.

The main reason why employers choose to drug test their workers is to ensure they have the safest work environment for everyone. If a remote employee is using drugs, he or she is not putting you or any of your other workers in harm’s way since they are not in the office. However, they are still using while on the clock.  Drug use affects employers in several ways, such as increased absenteeism, increased medical costs, and lower productivity. Therefore, companies must continue to practice the same drug test protocols, even with their remote workers.

Recommendations for Drug Testing During the Pandemic

At Soteria, we have increased our safety measures to provide our clients with the safest environment for employees and their collectors. Social distancing should be practiced as much as possible even though a safe distance of six feet apart is not always feasible while conducting a test such as a mouth swab or a hair follicle drug test.

According to the CDC, it is essential to take extra precautions around all bodily fluids. Masks and face shields should be worn by collectors and the test subjects alike. Fresh gloves should always be used for each individual drug test.

Many of the same safety measures are still in place for the most common drug testing method, the urine test. Standard procedures, such as completely sanitizing the restroom between tests, have been increased. This is to ensure further safety for all test subjects and collectors.

What If an Employee Refuses to Test?

If an employee refuses to report for a drug test because of the current pandemic, don’t worry. You can assure them that there are guidelines to protect them in place to prevent the spread of the virus. Keep in mind if a worker refuses to take a test, even if it is due to COVID-19 concerns, this is still considered a refusal to test. That allows the employer representative from the company to make their own decision on how to handle the situation.

If the DOT regulates a company, the refusal to test is reported to the Medical Review Officer or MRO. Employers in the general workforce will often appoint a person to be in charge of drug testing for the company. With either scenario, the documentation will be reviewed. Then it will be determined if the current circumstances are considered a refusal to test or not.

Find the Best Drug Test Screening in Your Area

Soteria Screening Laboratories offers a broad range of drug screening options for employers. We are taking the correct precautions to make sure that all parties are safe during any screening process held at our facility.  Give us a call today to learn more about our testing options.  It will give you  peace of mind in the workplace.

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