BlogEmployment Edge

4 Employee Drug Testing Guidelines For Coming Back To Work During the Pandemic

By June 19, 2020 No Comments

Since the COVID-19 made its way to the United States, things have drastically changed.  Accordingly, workplace drug testing, such as pre-employment drug screening or return to duty testing, must never be compromised.

Workplace drug testing might require new rules and procedures, but it certainly shouldn’t be eliminated.  As many states start to reopen businesses, companies must immediately beef up their safety measures to ensure that testing is still possible and safe for both the collectors and the employees or candidates.  Edge, your company’s partner in drug testing in Melbourne, FL, immediately implemented these measures.  Employers can make the process easier by following the guidelines below:

Increased Sanitation Measures

Since urine tests are the most common employee drug test methods, the restrooms must be sanitized in between tests.

Drug testing facilities always strictly follow sanitation measures. For on-site testing, however, employers need to instruct their cleaning staff to disinfect touchpoint hard surfaces such as doorknobs and chairs.

Implement Social Distancing And Provide PPE

Maintaining six feet of social distance could be quite tricky during a drug screening, especially for hair, oral fluid, and breath-alcohol tests where the collectors and test subjects must be in close proximity.

Because of this, extra safety measures must be taken when dealing with body fluid samples. The CDC advises employers to utilize face shields/facemasks and disposable gloves, to ensure the protection of both the collectors and test subjects.

Deal With Test Refusals Seriously

Before the scheduled testing, reassure your employees that you’ve taken extra safety measures to protect them from any possibility of contracting the virus during the tests. This way, you’d be able to diffuse any COVID-19 concern, and as much as possible, avoid test refusals.

However, if an employee does refuse a drug test, the collector will report it as a refusal to test on the document. After the documentation, company guidelines must be strictly followed regarding its refusal to test policy.  For DOT regulated companies, the next action to be taken is to report refusals to test to the MRO (Medical Review Officer).

Update Drug-Free Policies

If a company has its own policy to supplement government regulations, it’s probably a good idea to start updating it along with the procedures, especially for dealing with refusals-to-test. Upon refusal, the next move could be that the employer will hold the right to randomly test the employee once the crisis passes, and the fears subside or something similar.

Some employees who use drugs might try to use this opportunity to refuse drug tests. A policy update ensures that employers still have the right to conduct a random test at another time or at another lab location for instance.


Drug testing, whether a pre-employment drug screening, random or a return to duty testing, must continue amid the pandemic. The COVID-19 outbreak must not be an excuse to ease or totally remove drug testing requirements. On the contrary, continued drug testing has never become more important than at a time like this.

The transportation sector is primarily being relied upon by the world to get essential supplies from one place to the other. This is why for transportation industries to operate efficiently and safely during this crisis, special drug testing guidelines must be implemented and followed.

Now more than ever, employers need to find a reliable partner for drug testing in Melbourne, FL that locals can turn to. As anxiety hits an all-time high, some people may resort to drugs or alcohol to cope, drug testing is just what companies need to ensure that their workers are sober and focused when they finally return to work.

For drug testing services that are fully compliant with industry standards and guidelines, contact Edge Information Management at 800-725-3343!

Leave a Reply