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Drug Testing News!!!


The Health and Human Services Department has proposed a rule that would possible change the Federal Workplace Drug Testing guidelines. The proposal is now open for a 60 day period for comments. To read the entire proposal or to submit a formal comment go to :

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Employer FAQs
 What are the costs of not having a program?
While many employers feel that drug and alcohol testing programs are a waste of money, typically the money spent on a testing program is significantly less than what they would spend or lose from employees who abuse drugs or alcohol. There are a variety of testing options available and a sales associate would be more than happy to discuss pricing options, please contact us for more information. Below are some statistics of the costs associated with not having a testing program. Increased employee absenteeism-66 percent higher absenteeism among drug users. Abusers are 2.5 times more likely to use 8 or more days of employee sick time. Abusers are 3 times more likely to be late for work. Abusers are 2.2 times more likely to require early dismissal. Costs in accidents and damages-5 times more likely to file a workers' compensation claim. Abusers are 3.6 times more likely to be involved in accidents. Losses due to employee theft/fraud-Disciplinary actions are 90 percent higher among drug users. Increased costs for health care-Health benefit utilization is 84 percent greater in dollar terms. Abusers are 3 times more likely to abuse the normal level of sick benefits. It is estimated that employee drug use costs employers over $100 billion each year. 71 percent of illegal drug users are employed - most working for small businesses, as estimated by the Federal government.   back to top

 What are the benefits of having a drug and alcohol testing program?
To protect the public, employees, and corporate safety Fewer accidents Reduced costs of insurance claims Reduced Workman's Compensation claims Reduced usage of medical benefits Fewer disciplinary actions Reduced losses due to absenteeism, theft, and fraud Lower costs due to losses and errors Decreased legal costs and costs of hiring and training new employees Earlier identification and resolution of problems affecting job performance To comply with government regulations.   back to top

 What types of consultation can GlobalLab provide?
GlobalLab can help your company with policy development, implementation, and management of sound substance abuse policies, procedures, and documentation that complies with Federal and State regulations and laws. GlobalLab can also assist your company with training programs for collectors, instructors, and supervisors on topics including urine collections, instant testing product procedures, and drug and alcohol related workplace problems. Please see Training for more information on available programs.  back to top

 What alcohol testing services can GlobalLab provide?
GlobalLab is equipped to administer either saliva or breath alcohol testing. Both are D.O.T. approved and a confirmation test is automatically done on positive screening tests.  back to top

 What drug testing services can GlobalLab provide?
GlobalLab has a variety of options available for your drug testing needs and we are more than happy to customize our service for your individual needs. Please see our Services listing for more information on specific testing types.  back to top

 Can I have someone come out to my company to do the testing?
GlobalLab is more than happy to help save your company time and money by coming to your site to administer the collections. Please contact us to discuss this in more detail and to schedule a time for us to come out.  back to top

 Do employers have the right to require that employees be tested for drugs and alcohol?
Yes for both drugs and alcohol, but it has to be done fairly.  back to top

 Is drug testing an invasion of privacy?
If the program is properly administered and within Federal and State law and guidelines, the courts have determined that drug testing is not an invasion of privacy. The primary factor (among others) with respect to court decisions is the welfare and safety of others.   back to top

 What rights do I have in a testing program?
Your basic rights extend primarily to the right to privacy and the right to question the legitimacy of a test result. You may have additional rights depending on your individual circumstances as well as State and local regulations.  back to top

 What happens if I decline to be tested?
Most company drug testing "Policies and Procedures" call for some form of disciplinary action up to and including dismissal. D.O.T. guidelines consider a refusal to test the same as a positive test (D.O.T. 49 CFR Part 40).   back to top

 Are my records truly confidential?
Your employer and your MRO are required by law to keep test result records confidential, in a safe, restricted place. Testing records cannot be released to others without your consent. Exceptions to these requirements are limited to: 1. D.O.T. agencies when license or certificate actions are required. 2. The decision-maker in arbitration, litigation, or administrative proceedings when an employee initiates a grievance, lawsuit, or other action relating to test results. This includes unemployment and worker's compensation  back to top

 What are the applicable laws?
Federally regulated employees must adhere to guidelines established by the Department of Transportation (D.O.T.). Company policy largely determines the guidelines for non-D.O.T. testing. Laws in some states restrict the use of instant testing devices.   back to top

 Is testing for additional drugs authorized? Must a separate specimen be obtained?
D.O.T. does not authorize the collection of blood for drug testing, except Post-Accidents for those who fall under the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). Therefore, while a company under its own authority may require a blood specimen to be collected and tested for drugs and/or alcohol under certain circumstances, it is not acceptable for the company-required blood specimen to be supported by the same custody and control form that accompanies a D.O.T.-required urine specimen (D.O.T. 49 CFR Part 40). If a urine specimen for a D.O.T. reasonable cause test is rejected for testing at the laboratory, results from a blood test collected in accordance with a company policy could be used to take action against an employee depending upon the drug testing policy established by that company. Under no circumstances, however, can the result of the blood test be used to take administrative or disciplinary action against an employee using D.O.T. authority for the reasons cited above.  back to top

 Should I avoid taking foods or medicines before the test?
If you are taking prescribed medications for a specific condition, you should continue taking it. You will be given the opportunity to advise the MRO of this fact. As for food and drink, there's no reason not to eat and drink as usual.  back to top

  Can a donor test positive for secondhand smoke?
No. Research experiments have been conducted that expose nonsmoking individuals to heavy concentrations of marijuana smoke in confined quarters. The nonsmoking individuals could not absorb enough smoke, even after several hours of exposure, to cause a positive result in subsequent urinalysis.  back to top

 What about with hair testing?
No. Even for hair testing, secondhand smoke will not cause a positive for two reasons. The first reason is because the lab sends the hair sample through a cleaning process that eliminates environmental contamination. The second reason is because even if someone does have the "parent" drug in their hair follicles, the laboratory will not deem the result positive if there is no metabolite of the drug present (meaning there has to be evidence that the drug was ingested)  back to top

 What is a "false" positive, and how can they occur?
This is probably the most confusing issue regarding drug testing. Simply put, the tests are very accurate. If during screening, they detect a drug, it is sent for confirmation through GC/MS. If the drug detected is caused by a prescription the donor is taking from doctor's orders, it is a negated positive and reported as a verified negative. Some over-the-counter medications will screen positive, but the confirmation tests will rule out any illicit substances. What is generally called a "false" positive is simply a result which has not yet been confirmed.  back to top

 What will be done to me if I test positive?
Study your company's Policies and Procedures carefully as it should state in there the consequences of testing positive, which can include termination.  back to top

 What can I do if I'm wrongfully accused?
In the case of D.O.T. tests you can request, in writing, a re-test, as explained to you by the MRO during your interview. You will not be permitted to provide a new specimen. The secondary specimen taken at the time of donation will be opened and tested to confirm or refute the first positive report. You will normally have to pay for this retest. Please note that you only have 72 hours from the time you are notified of the result to request a retest.  back to top

 What level of drug in the urine indicated that an individual is impaired?
Physical impairment according to a given level is not the issue. The issue is whether or not illegal drugs are being used at all, and whether or not drug and alcohol abuse is taking place. Also, due to varying individual metabolic rates, the amount of drug ingested, and the concentration or strength of the drug ingested, there is no scientific correlation to allow one to determine by the level if an individual is impaired.  back to top