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Drug-Testing Policy (Random Testing)

Editor's note: State laws on drug testing vary, and employers must ensure compliance with such laws in the states where employees perform their work. This policy is generic and may not comply with laws in all states.


This policy describes [Company Name]'s procedures for conducting random drug testing of employees in its efforts to maintain a safe and drug-free workplace.

Random Selection

[Company Name] will randomly drug-test employees for compliance with its drug-free workplace policy on a quarterly basis. Random testing means employees will be selected for testing using a computer-based random-number generator. This will result in an equal probability that any employee from the entire group of employees will be tested.

Each quarter, on a day selected by a computer-based random-date generator, the human resources department will pull a random selection of employee names and immediately notify the employees selected for testing. Testing must be completed on the same workday the employee is selected, absent extenuating circumstances such as out-of-town travel. In all circumstances, testing must be completed within 24 hours of selection.

If an employee selected for testing is unavailable for a legitimate reason such as an extended medical absence, human resources will document the circumstances for failure to test.

[Company Name] has no discretion to waive the selection of an employee selected at random.

Substances Covered by Drug and Alcohol Testing

Employees will be tested for their use of commonly abused controlled substances, which include amphetamines, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, opiates, cannabinoids, cocaine, methadone, methaqualone, phencyclidine (PCP), propoxyphene and chemical derivatives of these substances.

Employees must advise the testing lab of all prescription drugs taken in the past month before the test and must be prepared to show proof of such prescriptions upon request.

Testing Methods and Procedures

All testing will be conducted by a licensed independent medical laboratory, which will follow testing standards established by the state or federal government. Testing will be conducted on a urine sample provided by the employee to the testing laboratory under procedures established by the laboratory to ensure the privacy of the employee, while also protecting against tampering with or alteration of the test results.

Employees will be considered to be engaged at work during the time spent taking a drug test and will be compensated for such time at their regular rate of pay, with the exception of retesting at the request of the employee.

[Company Name] will pay for the cost of the initial testing, including the confirmation of any positive test result by gas chromatography. The testing lab will retain samples in accordance with state law, so that an employee may request a retest of the sample at his or her own expense if the employee disagrees with the test result.

Refusal to Test

Employees who refuse to submit to a test or who adulterate, dilute or otherwise tamper with a test specimen will be subject to immediate discharge.

Consequences of Positive Test Results

If an employee tests positive on an initial screening test, the employee will be temporarily suspended while the confirmation test is being conducted.

[Employers should review state law requirements and consider internal company culture when choosing whether to implement a zero-tolerance policy or allow for exceptions based on individual circumstances. Only one of the following options should be included in the employer's drug-testing policy:]

[Option 1:] A positive test result confirmed by a medical review officer of the laboratory will result in termination of employment in accordance with [Company Name]'s zero-tolerance drug-free workplace policy.

[Option 2:] A positive test result confirmed by a medical review officer of the laboratory will result in disciplinary action, up to and including discharge. Discipline selected by [Company Name] will depend on a variety of factors, including the prior work record of the employee, the length of employment, the prior accident and attendance record of the employee, the circumstances that led to the testing, and proposals by the employee to address the problem.

All employees have the right to discuss their test results with testing laboratory personnel and [Company Name]. These discussions should be considered confidential except that information disclosed will be communicated to personnel within [Company Name] or within the laboratory who need to know such information to make proper decisions regarding the test results or regarding the employment of the individual.


All records concerning test results will be kept by [Company Name] in medical files that are maintained separately from employee personnel files. Employees have a right to obtain copies of all test results from the testing laboratory or from [Company Name].


Employees may request a retest of their positive test results within five working days after notification of a positive test result. This retest is at the expense of the individual, unless the original test result is called into question by the retest.

Where the employee believes that the positive test result was affected by taking lawful or prescribed substances not in violation of company policy, the employee may be suspended without pay pending substantiation of the employee's claims. Employees will be provided no more than five business days in which to produce this additional information. 


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