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Addressing the Employee (Reasonable Suspicion)

Tue, 08/28/2018

To rule out the possibility the employee is impaired, the organization may send the employee for a drug or alcohol test.  If you believe there is a cause for reasonable suspicion, both management and HR should meet with the employee.  It should be clearly explained what has been observed and documented by management.

If drug or alcohol testing is decided, outline the steps that will be taken in accordance with your relevant workplace policy.  If the employer has not obtained a drug testing consent previously, the manager or HR staff member should have a consent form available at this meeting, for the employee to sign.

Address the possible consequences if they do not agree to a test or the drug testing consent form.  Focus on the documented objective observations – avoid argument.  If the employee is not under the influence of drugs or alcohol at work, the test will prove this.  Do not speculate on the possibility of an existing problem, make accusations or assumptions.  Inform the employee that the testing is to rule out possible cause, not probable cause.

If testing is done internally, the individual making the observations should not be the same person collecting samples or performing the test.  If testing is to be conducted by a third-party, arrange for the employee’s transportation.  Do not let a potentially impaired employee drive.  If they do, notify the police.

Refusal to be Tested

If an employee refuses to be tested, after the employer has established a cause for reasonable suspicion, explain the consequences of refusal as outlined in your relevant workplace policy.

Provide your workforce with the education needed to support your workplace policies.