4 Employees reviewing documents

Employee Drug Testing and Services

Employee Drug Testing With US Drug Test Centers

US Drug Test Centers is a nationwide drug and alcohol testing company that provides a full suite of employee testing services and cutting edge program management platform for employers.

Once you've started your drug-free workplace program with US Drug Test Centers, you'll be able to utilize our cloud-based software that allows you to order a drug or alcohol test at any one of our 20,000+ collection sites nationwide and manage the screening lifecycle, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Here's further information on the benefits of employee drug testing, when testing typically takes place, and the standard methods of drug and alcohol screening US Drug Test Centers can provide for you.

The Benefits of Employee Drug Testing

With our nation battling an opioid epidemic, combined with legal marijuana use laws continuing to make traction throughout the U.S., and the perception of a dwindling job applicant pool, some employers are challenging the entire idea of performing drug testing in their workplaces. Is there still a benefit to having an employee drug-free workplace program?

employees putting hands in

In short, the answer is yes. Why? Because the risks of not testing are real. There is no mystery why this is so. Let's look at just a few of the latest statistics:

Employee drug testing programs have a long list of proven benefits, such as decreased absenteeism, fewer accidents, improved productivity, reduced turnover, and added protection for the company.

Since the 1980s when drug testing first became widely used in our nation’s workplaces, the value of drug testing has been hotly debated. Indeed, no reasonable thinking person would condone illegal drug use in the workplace; likewise, no one could deny that illicit drug use occurs at work or that off-duty use of illegal drugs has an impact at work.

white pills and purple bottle

Perhaps the most impactful reason to establish an employee screening program is the obligation for employers to foster a safe and productive workplace. The central concept of safety is accepted across the nation in general but also federally recognized by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) “General Duty Clause,” which reads in part:

29 U.S. Code § 654 - Duties of employers and employees

(a) Each employer -

(1) shall furnish to each of his employee’s employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees;

(2) shall comply with occupational safety and health standards promulgated under this chapter.

(b) Each employee shall comply with occupational safety and health standards and all rules, regulations, and orders issued pursuant to this chapter which are applicable to his own actions and conduct.

Employers must carefully consider the pros and cons of establishing an employee drug testing program that is specific to their workplace. Most employers would agree that the pros far outweigh the cons. Ensuring a safe workplace must be considered as a top priority for any organization, and substance abuse screening is a crucial component. Contact US Drug Test Centers today to get started!

The Value of Testing:What Does Your Company Expect From an Employee Drug Testing Program?

Some goals your company should consider are:

  1. Do you intend to improve the health of your employees?
  2. Do you hope to develop and maintain the safety of your workplace?
  3. Do you want/need to reduce your workers’ compensation and unemployment liabilities?
  4. Do you wish to avoid potential liability?

These are all legitimate and valuable goals of any workplace drug testing program. When done correctly, the accuracy of the test methods used and the return on your investment can be recognized. The cost savings from these benefits can potentially cover the entire expense of your employee drug testing program!

white piggy bank

There are numerous reasons why you should be drug testing at work. A whopping 70% of the 14.8 million Americans using illegal drugs in this country are employed, meaning it might be happening in your own place of business.

Substance abuse in the business setting can be costly in more ways than one. Here are some of the benefits of employee drug testing.

Increased Productivity and Employee Retention

Research has found a negative correlation between drug abuse and productivity — as the former increases, the latter decreases. Drug use has also been linked to an increase in employee turnover.

Poor Work Performance, Crime, and Accidents on the Job

An employee who is impaired or under the influence can’t safely and adequately perform their job. Research has connected employee drug abuse with poor work performance, increased crime rates in the workplace, and a greater number of accidents on the job.

Increased Expenses to Employers

Drug use in the workplace can lead to an increase in workers’ compensation claims, absenteeism, injuries, theft, increases in health care costs, legal costs, and lost productivity. Overall, drug use at work might be costing employers as much as $81 billion each year.

By planning and preparing for alcohol and drug testing at work, you’re not just protecting your team and maintaining a safe and comfortable work environment. You’re also helping to keep your business efficiently running like a well-oiled machine.

When is Employee Drug Testing Required?

There are instances that employee drug testing is a requirement for employers. Some examples of such situations are:

Department of Transportation (DOT) Testing: Companies that have employees conducting federally-regulated and safety-sensitive work (truck drivers, bus drivers, pilots, boat captains, rail workers, etc.) MUST follow DOT drug and alcohol testing rules, which include the screening of marijuana. Furthermore, the DOT has made it very clear that medical marijuana users are not exempt from federal DOT regulations.

airplane on tarmac

State Benefits Programs: Several states offer benefits to employers who voluntarily comply with state workers’ compensation premium discount programs (Drug-Free Workplace Programs). To earn the incentives, the employer must comply with a very complex set of rules including when to test, how to test, and what substances to test for, which often includes the required screening of marijuana.

Federal Grants: Companies that operate from a state or federal grant likely must continue to screen for marijuana as a condition of the grant.

Contractor/Subcontractor Work: It's very common for contractors and subcontractors to require the screening of marijuana, whether by company policy, contract requirement, customer requirement, etc.

State Regulations: Several states have some form of law or rule that may require an employer to follow federal (HHS/DOT) rules, which includes screening for marijuana, either in general or in specific circumstances.

When Employment Drug Testing Typically Occurs

A comprehensive employee drug testing program will include screening both pre-employment and post-hire. Employers should carefully consider when testing will take place and make sure the requirements are consistent throughout the company and/or by job description. If you need help determining when you should conduct employment and pre-employment drug testing, contact US Drug Testing Centers.

Pre-Employment – The most common type of drug test is pre-employment drug testing, conducted as a condition of future employment. Employers are recommended to require the drug test only after a formal job offer has been made.

Post-Accident – Employers should conduct employee drug testing after an accident/incident to determine if drug use may have played a role. Employers are cautioned to require testing of all individuals who may have contributed to specific accident/incident.

Reasonable Suspicion – Becoming even more critical with the rise in marijuana use, employers can require employee drug testing when illegal drug use is suspected. Employers are strongly encouraged to train their managers on how to accurately detect and handle reasonable suspicion situations effectively and on the dangers of drug abuse in the workplace. The details of each event should be thoroughly documented.

Random – Often, employers wish to establish a random employee drug testing program where a percentage of all employees are randomly screened throughout the year. This is an excellent deterrent to ensure employees remain drug-free beyond the standard pre-employment drug testing. Employers are cautioned to ensure the random selection process is computer-based, documented, unbiased, and spread out in an unpredictable pattern randomly throughout the year.

Return-to-duty – For those employees that fail an employee drug test, get treatment from a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP), and are ready to return to the workplace may be required to submit a return-to-duty employee drug test.

Follow Up – A Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) may also require follow up or "periodical" testing as an additional treatment or recovery requirement.

Promotional – Some employers elect to require employee drug testing as a condition of employment promotion.

Common Testing Methods for Employee Drug Screening

Among the many components of any drug and alcohol testing program is how tests will be conducted. When considering the different test methods available, you should focus on what you are trying to accomplish. Are you trying to detect drug users so you can remove them from your workplace or offer them help with a drug or alcohol problem, are you trying to prevent drug users from entering your workplace, or both?

Choosing the right test method to meet your goals can be critical. The test method essentially means selecting the part of the human body or which bodily fluids you will have analyzed for the presence of prohibited drugs.

These test methods are not all the same. They may have different detection levels (cutoff levels) and different detection times or “windows of detection.” The window of detection is critical as it dictates when a specific drug can be identified based on how soon after someone uses the drug and how long after they stop using it.

Urine Testing — A urine drug test is the most common form of pre-employment drug testing. Urinalysis can show traces of drug use even after the effects of the drug has worn off. Average detection time for drug testing via urine is 1-2 days and up to 30 days from last use. (Marijuana has the longest detection period.) A urinalysis is the only method currently approved for federally mandated (DOT) testing and is often chosen for both regulated and non-regulated employees.

Hair Testing — In the past, hair drug testing was commonly used for executive-level and security sensitive jobs due to the superior detection period this method can show. Requiring an employee drug test using hair will provide a detection period of approximately a week and up to 90 days of last use. We now see many employers utilizing hair testing throughout workplaces across the country due to the extended detection window and the level of difficulty to adulterate a sample.

cutting hair

Breath Alcohol Testing — The most common method to detect alcohol use is by utilizing a trained breath alcohol technician and related detection equipment. Some employers elect to conduct alcohol screening via oral fluid (saliva) devices. Breath alcohol tests typically show impairment within 8 hours of last use.

Instant and On-Site Testing — Employers have the option to utilize instant, “rapid,” point-of-collection (POCT) devices.

Employer programs can be set up through US Drug Test Centers so that the designated employer representative can electronically order the instant drug test for a candidate located anywhere in the country, and an e-mail order form is sent to the candidate. Express Results Online is an instant, online, urine drug testing solution from Quest Diagnostics specially designed for employers who need to make fast, informed business decisions based upon the results of their drug tests. LabCorp performs rapid tests at most of its specimen collection labs nationwide. LabCorp's rapid test process, or RADAR, program involves the collector running an initial screen on-site at the point of collection.

It's crucial for employers to understand the differences with this testing method compared to a laboratory-based employee drug test. The administration process, opportunity for environmental or direct interference, and drug detection times will vary by each application.

If instant urine drug testing is not available in your area, we can set up your company with a urine lab-based drug test with an MRO (Medical Review Officer) review. These tests can be scheduled electronically, and negative results usually come back within 24-48 business hours.

Employer benefits with instant drug testing include:

  • Results within hours for negative results
  • Increased worker productivity, reduces testing time, getting employees back to work
  • Reduced employment costs and decreases absenteeism due to substance abuse
  • Shortened hiring cycle and eliminates a two to three-day delay in hiring prospective employees
  • Reduced drug testing program costs — ask for a discount when using an instant drug testing program

Our US Drug Test Centers team can help you utilize the right method of drug screening for your company. Contact us today!

Common Drug Testing Panels

US Drug Test Centers offers standard drug and alcohol testing panels and customized drug testing panels, available upon request.

  • Breath Alcohol Testing
  • EtG/EtS Alcohol Test
  • 5 panel urine — marijuana, cocaine, opiates, amphetamines, methamphetamines, phencyclidine (PCP)
  • 10 panel urine — marijuana, cocaine, opiates, amphetamines, methamphetamines, phencyclidine (PCP), benzodiazepines, barbiturates, methadone, methaqualone, and propoxyphene
  • 10 panel urine with expanded opiates and OXY — marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, methamphetamines, phencyclidine (PCP), benzodiazepines, barbiturates, methadone, methaqualone, propoxyphene, opiates including codeine, morphine, 6-acetylmorphine (heroin specific metabolite), hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxycodone, and oxymorphone
  • Hair test – 5 panel
  • Hair test – 5 panel with expanded opiates
  • Other drugs typically added to the standard drug testing panels include tramadol, meperidine, buprenorphine, suboxone, fentanyl, ketamine
  • And many more!

Learn more about our many different panels. Don't see the exact one you want? Contact us, and we can customize one based on your needs.

Federal Laws, State Laws, and Financial Benefits

Employers must take extra caution to clearly understand the state and federal laws that specifically apply to their employee drug testing program. Federally-regulated (DOT) testing programs have particular rules and regulations that must be followed. Several states throughout the US have mandatory drug testing laws, which employers MUST follow if they wish to conduct employee drug testing.

gavel

These mandatory laws can be very general or can be incredibly detailed. In Nevada, for example, employers must follow the mandatory state law which requires all drug tests to be analyzed by a licensed and qualified laboratory. Pretty simple requirement. On the other hand, some states, such as Maine, have mandatory laws that specifically require a policy to be developed and then sent to the state for a review and approval before testing can take place (amongst many other specific requirements).

Some states limit or prohibit particular testing method; some states restrict or prohibit when or how testing can take place. Some states detail what disciplines can be imposed in reaction to a positive drug test; other states require specific notices to be sent before and after employee drug testing is conducted. Employers must make an effort to understand what rules apply to their program.

Several states also offer financial incentives for employers who voluntarily comply with the state’s requirements. These benefits include the opportunity to reduce your workers’ compensation insurance premiums (through state drug-free workplace programs), leveraging the Rebuttable presumption of intoxication defense to deny a workers’ compensation claim, and to deny unemployment benefits for employees that fail a drug test. These benefits vary by state and have particular rules that must be followed to qualify for the benefit.

Nearly all workplaces have a mix of federally-regulated or safety-sensitive employees and non-regulated or safety-sensitive employees. The drug testing requirements of these two employee groups must be considered.

Our Drug-Free Workplace Training

US Drug Test Centers offers drug-free workplace online training, such as:

Our online training courses make it easy for you to complete the courses by watching videos online. Start and stop the course as needed and receive a certificate once you've completed the course. US Drug Test Centers also offers the DOT (Department of Transportation) required reasonable suspicion supervisor training for all designated employer representatives.

Our Cloud-Based Software

Once you have started your drug-free workplace program with US Drug Test Centers, you will receive access to our state-of-the-art, cloud-based drug testing software that allows you to order a drug or alcohol test at one of our 20,000+ locations nationwide, 24/7. Our representatives are available to provide demonstrations and training for our software. It's easy to use, and you don't have to download or install any hardware or software.

man typing on a laptop

Simply log into our system, enter the employee's basic information, enter in the zip code where they are located, choose the closest location, and submit the order. The employee will then receive an email with all of the information on where they need to go to take their test. Once their results are available, you will receive an email notification with the employee test result, and the result is stored in our cloud-based software forever.

Have questions? Contact us today or order a test online.