As an employee, what will happen if you fail a workplace drug test? As an employer, what process must you follow when one of your workers fails drug testing?
Failed a workplace drug test – the employee
If you do fail a workplace drug test you should insist that additional testing is carried out and the sample be analysed by an independent laboratory.
It’s in your best interest to undergo additional testing because of the potential for a false positive. A false positive, while reasonably rare, can occur due to a variety of reasons, including the use of some over the counter and prescribed medications. If you have taken over the counter or prescribed medicines recently, explain this to your employer, provide evidence if you can and then sit tight and wait for the final test results to be confirmed.
If, however, you have taken illicit drugs, it may be a good time to come clean to your employer. Many employers will appreciate your honesty and may reward it with more lenient consequences.
Failed a workplace drug test – the business
If you have an employee who fails an initial drug test, it’s not the time to start dishing out consequences. That’s because it’s not just in the employee’s best interest for additional testing to be carried out, it’s in your best interest too.
At Integrity Sampling, when we record a positive workplace drug test, we implement what is called a chain of custody. This auditable process involves taking two additional oral samples. The first is an A sample that will be tested in an independent lab to determine exactly what drugs are in the employee’s system and how much. The other sample, the B sample, is kept at the lab in case of a later challenge by the employee.
So, apart from making sure the employee is made safe, you should also sit tight and wait for the final test results to be confirmed.
Failed a workplace drug test – what next?
Once a failed workplace drug test has been confirmed by an independent laboratory, what happens next? If you’re an employee, what consequences are you likely to face? If you’re an employer, how do you ensure the action you take is fair and legal?
We’ll look at these and other questions in a post in the near future.
The entire workplace drug testing process – including chain of custody – can be seen in Integrity Sampling’s workplace drug and alcohol testing video.