What Supervisors Need to Know About Reasonable Suspicion Testing

Lab technician holding a test tube with blue liquid

If you are committed to a drug-free workplace, reasonable suspicion testing could be an important tool. This kind of testing is often challenging for employers and employees alike, but it can play a central role in ensuring that your workplace is safe for everyone. This information will help supervisors use reasonable suspicion drug testing appropriately in their workplaces.

What is reasonable suspicion drug testing?

Reasonable suspicion drug testing—also sometimes called for-cause testing—is performed to determine if drug use has contributed to a situation in the workplace. Depending on the nature of the position, some employers may be required by federal law to conduct employee drug testing for jobs that are safety-sensitive. For other employers, drug testing may be permitted by not required. In Arizona, reasonable suspicion drug testing is allowed at the employer’s discretion. Random drug testing is also allowed.

When should reasonable suspicion testing be performed?

Employers can require reasonable suspicion testing under many different circumstances. Some of the instances in which this kind of testing may be ordered are:

  • If an employee appears to be under the influence at work
  • If a pattern of unusual behavior at work may be attributed to drug or alcohol use
  • To determine if drugs or alcohol were a factor in a workplace injury

Supervisors should be trained on the signs of drug abuse and the circumstances in which reasonable suspicion testing can be used. Workplaces should have clear policies about reasonable suspicion testing that are communicated to employees.

What happens after a reasonable suspicion test?

Typically, employees who undergo this kind of test do not return to work until the results are known. Supervisors should follow their workplace’s policy for dealing with positive tests if the results indicate that drugs were in the employee’s system.

Oschmann Employee Screening Services is pleased to offer reasonable suspicion testing training for supervisors to ensure policies are applied appropriately in the workplace. To learn more about drug testing in Arizona, call (800) 224-8532. Oschmann Employee Screening Services is a national provider of drug & alcohol testing and employee background check services with offices in Tucson, AZ and Phoenix, AZ.

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