Vigilant Blog

News, trends and analysis in employment law, HR, safety & workers' comp

May 15, 2018

Q&A: Address employee’s failure to follow drug testing procedures

Drug and Alcohol 

Question: When an employee is selected for a random drug test, we instruct them to report directly to the testing facility, which is only about five minutes away. One employee recently took two hours to get there. He passed the drug test, so can we do anything about his delay in getting to the testing facility?

Answer: Possibly. Failure to follow established drug testing procedures can sometimes be a sign of an employee trying to evade or tamper with a drug test. For example, an employee who stops by their house along the way to the testing facility, fails to provide a sample without a valid medical reason, or offers a specimen that isn’t the right temperature raises suspicion about whether they are trying to cheat the test. You can’t underestimate how creative employees can get when they know they’ll fail a drug test. Giving employees clear instructions on what to do when they are selected for a drug test, whether by written policy or verbal instruction, is the first step in being able to discipline an employee who fails to comply with normal testing procedures.
To make sure you’re on solid ground, it’s important to periodically review your drug and alcohol policy and/or other testing procedures to make sure employees know the consequences of failing to comply with those instructions. It’s also important to consistently enforce and follow those procedures; you’ll undermine your ability to discipline someone for a testing irregularity if you’ve allowed others to break the rules. For your employee who delayed getting to the testing facility, you should ask him about the situation. If he doesn’t offer a valid reason why it took him an excessive amount of time to get to the testing facility, then you should discipline him in accordance with your stated policy. Want help reviewing your policy and procedures? Contact us today about our flat fee employment law advice. Work with a dedicated attorney for all your employment law and HR matters.

This website presents general information in nontechnical language. This information is not legal advice. Before applying this information to a specific management decision, consult legal counsel.