Employers conduct drug testing for a number of reasons – pre-employment, random, post-accident, reasonable suspicion, and return-to-duty. Of these, reasonable suspicion can often be the most litigious and, as such, points out the importance of creating and maintaining a comprehensive workplace drug testing policy and program. The case of Layne v. Kanawha County Board of Education is a great example of an effective policy in action.
The case was presented in a recent article in the National Law Review. In it, “the petitioner, Layne, was a middle school sign language interpreter who was observed behaving erratically by five employees.” Her actions were reported to the school principle who subsequently met with Layne. During their conversation, the principle observed suspicious behaviors. Among other things, she had trouble sitting still, was rambling, and seemed overly fixated on items in her bag. The principal documented his observations and requested that she submit to a drug test. The article goes on to state that “when the interpreter refused, the consequences (i.e., disciplinary action) were explained and after refusing further, the school suspended the interpreter.” She continued to refuse to take a drug test and the school opted to not renew her contract, effectively terminating her employment.
Layne fought the termination and sued the Board of Education. She lost her case and subsequently appealed to the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals. The Supreme Court of Appeals found no error in the initial ruling and affirmed the lower court’s decision.
This case demonstrates the importance of creating a detailed, comprehensive workplace drug and alcohol testing policy. Best practices for such a policy include:
- Have a written policy that clearly spells out the types of testing that will be conducted and the consequences for refusing to test
- Actively communicate your substance abuse policy to employees
- Provide supervisor training on the warning signs of drug abuse
- Make certain that your testing program complies with state laws
Learn more about creating effective workplace testing programs by downloading our Guide to Establishing a Workplace Drug Testing Program. For information on drug testing, visit our website or contact us online.
As a leading drug testing laboratory, we want employers to feel confident about their drug test results because these results often directly impact workplace safety, productivity, and an individual’s livelihood. Therefore, we are dedicated to achieving an exceptional level of quality throughout the entire drug testing process from specimen collection to the final drug test result. Our focus falls into several key areas:
- We measure precision in screening and confirmation testing, turnaround times, and problem resolution to ensure every result that our laboratories report is accurate and timely. Furthermore, our four drug testing laboratories are Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) certified to perform regulated drug testing as well as College of American Pathologists (CAP) forensic drug testing (FDT) accredited.
- We continually monitor and audit our nationwide network of more than 8,000 collection sites. Our collector training schedule exceeds the requirements established by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) because we want to ensure every one of our professional collectors are knowledgeable, skilled, and up-to-date.
- We track the logistics and speed of our company-employed couriers, commercial delivery services, and private and commercial flights that transport drug testing specimens from the collection site to the laboratory for testing because turnaround times are always a priority.
- We examine workplace drug testing trends and publish our analysis in the Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index™. This empowers our scientific experts to prioritize innovation and develop drug tests that keep pace with the most commonly-abused substances.
- Our IT team continually monitors system performance, results delivery, security, and code integrity in the technology solutions we use to simplify the drug testing process
At Quest Diagnostics, we work to achieve near perfect standards of quality. For example, our negative turnaround time (from lab log-in to result release) for a urine drug test is consistently faster than the industry standard and our fatal flaw rate for collections quality regularly approaches zero.
We understand that quality matters to our clients and that it is a key factor that sets us apart from other providers. Our We’re there when you need us™ philosophy weaves quality into everything we do. We pledge to help keep workplaces drug-free by offering high quality, reliable drug testing solutions.
For more information about drug testing, visit our website or contact us online.