Many companies these days use drug testing as part of their pre-employment process to help filter the applicant pool. Realistically, drug use in the workplace can lead to a whole host of issues, including absences, tardiness, decreased productivity, accidents, and high employee turnover. In most cases, employers will only drug test employees during hiring and perhaps have a policy where a test is required in the case of accidents. However, other companies may decide that they want to do more frequent testing to weed out employees who are regular users. When subjected to frequent testing as an employee, it is important to understand the circumstances when this should and shouldnt be tolerated.

Workplace Accident Testing

As mentioned above, many companies will subject employees to drug testing when they are involved in a workplace accident. There is actually no limit on the number of times that an employer can mandate a drug test after an accident if they think that drugs or alcohol may have been a factor. An employer can mandate drug tests for every single accident that an employee was involved in. However, there are some limits to what is considered a qualifying accident. If an employee is being drug tested for minute mistakes like misspellings or taking a longer lunch, then this could come under the heading of discrimination.

Random Drug Testing

Regulations vary from state to state as to whether random drug testing is allowed, but some companies may use it as a method to catch those who use substances regularly. Random testing can be done multiple times in a year. The only real important factor for employers here is that it is actually a fair and random drug test for employees. In other words, information from all employees must be placed into a pool and one or some are selected at random. If there appears to be any form of targeting of specific employees going on, then there can be cases for harassment or discrimination.

Reasonable Suspicion

Employers are typically always allowed to drug test employees based on reasonable suspicion of use. In other words, an employer must have actual evidence, observation, or reasoning that an employee is using drugs on the job or during their employment. An employer can drug test based on reasonable suspicion as many times as they want, but this must be backed up with documentation to prove that it is legitimate. If an employee feels they are being subject to testing without actual reasonable suspicion, then they may be able to seek legal recourse or help from state departments or programs.

Periodic Drug Testing on Employees

Employers are generally able to subject employees to periodic testing, if they desire to do so. However, there are important U.S. Department of Labor rules and other regulations that they must adhere to. Firstly, an employer should have written policies to make it clear that these tests happen and why. For instance, a company that does dangerous or hazardous work may require regular tests to ensure that everyone is sticking to safety protocols and that no one gets hurt. If an employer does not have a legitimate reason for regular periodic tests, then they could be on the hook for harassment.

Looking for Accurate and Reliable Drug Testing?

If you are looking for accurate and reliable drug testing on employees or for yourself, then we can help. Here at Soteria Screening Labs, we offer multiple types and extents of tests to provide whatever you may need. Feel free to email us at or call us at (202) 679-6670.

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