I’m There: Bob McCormick

by Pablo Bolanos on October 9, 2015

Bob McCormickBob McCormick, Vice President, Quest Diagnostics Employer Solutions is deeply connected with ethics, positive values and above the line business practices. Under his leadership, Employer Solutions confidently believes that we’re there when you need us.

In the first feature of our series “I’m There,” Bob McCormick describes what we’re there when you need us means to him. Click here to view the full story.

Employer Solutions shares a commitment to being there when our clients and colleagues need us – at every possible opportunity. Through the unique stories from our team, you’ll get a more personal perspective at what that commitment means to them. To learn more about this series, read our introductory post.

For more information about Employer Solutions, visit our website or contact us online.

Blog Ad - Collections Webinar

Reasons for Testing: Pre-Employment Drug Testing

by Alex Bednar on October 6, 2015

pre-employment drug testing.jpgPre-employment drug testing is the most common type of drug testing performed. Employers typically use it to proactively protect themselves from the negative impacts of hiring drug users. Pre-employment testing is usually performed after a conditional offer of employment has been made and a negative drug test result is required before an applicant is hired.

Positivity Rates

Results from the Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index™ (DTI) show that pre-employment drug test positivity rates are higher among applicants in the general U.S. workforce than those in federally-mandated, safety-sensitive positions. A total of 4.0% of urine drug test results from the general U.S. workforce tested positive in 2014, while the positivity rate of federally-mandated, pre-employment urine tests was only 1.9%.

Why the difference? While most employers are not required to drug test their employees, pre-employment urine testing is mandated among federally-regulated employers who employ individuals in safety-sensitive positions including truck, bus and taxi drivers, airplane pilots and railroad employees. Lower positivity rates among these safety-sensitive positions are likely the result of applicant and employee demographics; required training and licensure; and the broad, ongoing and predictable nature of the drug testing programs.

Testing Prevalence

According to data from the U.S. government and Quest Diagnostics testing statistics, in 2014, pre-employment urine drug tests made up 49.4% of all federally-mandated drug tests and 69.7% of the general workforce testing volume. Other common reasons for testing including, but not limited to, for-cause, follow-up and random testing made up the remainder of test types, while oral fluid and hair made up the remainder of testing specimens.

Specimen Types

Urine and oral fluid testing detect recent use, whereas hair testing generally reflects long-term patterns of repetitive use. Leveraging data from the 2014 DTI for pre-employment tests in the general U.S. workforce, positivity rates were as follows for each of the specimen types:

  • Urine – 4.0%
  • Oral fluid – 7.6%
  • Hair – 7.9%

Urine testing is the only method that has been approved for federally-mandated testing, and is often chosen by employers in the general workforce for its many benefits. For employers with both regulated and non-regulated employees, urine allows them to have a consistent testing program for both groups. It’s also cost-effective, typically able to screen for a wider variety of illicit and prescription drugs, and urine collection volumes are generous, which allows for additional flexibility in the testing process.

Oral fluid testing is gaining popularity because it offers an observed collection which can help to thwart would-be cheaters and it can be collected on-site thereby reducing cost and time associated with other collections. Hair testing and its long window of detection is a good fit for employers who want to avoid hiring long-term or lifestyle drug users, and, like oral fluid, its observed collection can help to minimize adulteration.

In Conclusion

All three drug test specimen types, whether used alone or in conjunction with each other are suitable for pre-employment screening where the goal is to enable an employer to hire a drug-free candidate. The main drawback of only utilizing pre-employment testing is that drug-using applicants who were able to suspend their use long enough to pass their drug test, can restart their use undetected. Combining pre-employment testing and one or more of the other reasons for testing we will cover throughout this series is the best way to avoid hiring drug using applicants while discouraging drug use among employees.

For more information about pre-employment drug testing, visit our website or contact us online.

Employers design drug-free workplace programs to protect their organizations from the adverse impacts of drug abuse and promote productivity, health and safety. Every drug testing type and method has its strengths and employers must choose which works best for their organizations.

This blog series explores the different reasons for drug testing, the frequency of each and the specific pros and cons each one provides. Read the introductory post to learn more about the series.

Blog Ad - Collections Webinar


National Substance Abuse Prevention Month

October 5, 2015 Industry News

The consequences of abusing illicit drugs and alcohol are more visible now than ever before due to the ever-present, steady stream of information we view, share and follow daily. Although we are conscious of the detrimental effects of drugs and alcohol, there is still a need for more education to help people learn how to […]

Read the full article →

Webinar: Evaluating your Drug Test Collection Options

October 2, 2015 Collection Services

With more than 8,000 collection sites, how do I know which location best meets my needs and is the most convenient for my donors? What are my alternatives if sending a donor to a collection site is not feasible? How do collection sites ensure consistency and quality? Collections are a critical piece of the drug […]

Read the full article →

New Findings Regarding Marijuana in Colorado

October 1, 2015 Illicit Drugs

The Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (RMHIDTA) has released its third volume in a series researching the impact of medicinal and recreational marijuana legalization in Colorado. The study focuses on three time periods within Colorado’s legalization history: 2006-2008 – the “early medical marijuana era” 2009-present – the “medical marijuana commercialization and expansion era” […]

Read the full article →

Guide for Drug Testing Laws

September 21, 2015 Hair Testing

One of the most critical elements of your organization’s drug testing program is a comprehensive, well-written policy that is both easy for employees to understand and compliant with state and federal laws. State laws for drug testing vary across the country, while many states permit all types of drug testing, some states have unique requirements […]

Read the full article →

Regulated Electronic Custody and Control Form (eCCF) Progress Update

September 18, 2015 Quest News

On April 13, 2015, the DOT published a Notice of a Final Rule which will allow employers, collectors, laboratories and Medical Review Officers (MROs) to use the eCCF for their regulated drug testing programs. Employers and their service agents can begin using the eCCF only once the employer’s laboratory has been approved by the Department […]

Read the full article →

Papal Visit may Impact Access to Collection Sites

September 18, 2015 Quest News

In anticipation of Pope Francis’ visit to the United States next week, transportation throughout the Northeast is expected to be significantly impacted as major highways are scheduled to close. As such, Quest Diagnostics Patient Service Centers in that region may have truncated schedules between Friday, September 25 and Monday, September 28. We encourage you to […]

Read the full article →

Reasons for Testing: Introduction

September 17, 2015 Drugs Tested

According to the latest data from the National Survey of Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 24.6 million Americans age 12 or over are current drug users, and 68.9 percent of these illicit drug users are employed full-time or part-time. The U.S. Department of Labor reports that drug use in the workplace costs employers $81 billion […]

Read the full article →