5 Best Practices for Random Drug & Alcohol Testing

Tammy Cohen, PHR, SHRM-CP
August 16 2016

Drug testing has been a popular workplace practice since the infancy of background screening. Today, most companies conduct some form of pre-employment drug testing before new hires can begin work. Some organizations also conduct post-hire random drug testing due to reasonable suspicion, workplace accidents, and more.


1. Create a comprehensive random drug testing policy and procedure (P&P) that follows legal regulations

Your P&P for random testing should have a concrete purpose, such as decreasing absenteeism and employee turnover or reducing on-the-job accidents. You can find several resources online that provide sample drug and alcohol policies for public use, but if you’d rather build your own P&P, some questions to answer can include:

  • Who will implement, administer, maintain, and enforce the testing program?
  • What kinds of tests will be conducted: urine, saliva, hair?
  • Who will be tested? Are any employees exempt, and, if so, why?
  • How many employees will be tested randomly? How often will they be tested?
  • What are the consequences of violating the policy? What happens if an employee fails to complete a scheduled random test, refuses to test, or the completed test comes back positive?
  • Will you provide Return-to-Work Agreements or employee assistance to individuals who fail a random test?

2. Educate your workforce about your random drug and alcohol testing P&Ps

Employees should be educated on your company’s random testing P&P. Give employees copies of the written P&P and ensure they understand when they may be tested, how employees are randomly selected, how long they have to complete a test after notification, and any actions that may be taken in the case of a positive result.

3. Consistency is key is random drug testing

If your P&P involves offering employee assistance and Return-to-Work Agreements, don’t jump immediately to termination if a test comes back positive. Inconsistency tends to breed legislative consequences for business, so make a plan and stick to it every time. 

4. Document everything

Documenting your P&Ps and each part of your random testing process can help protect your company against the consequences of legal scrutiny. If an employee files a lawsuit against your company’s drug and alcohol testing procedures, complete and thorough documentation can mean the difference between a judgment and a dismissal.

5. Partner with a professional

A professional background screener can help you create a compliant random testing program that improves the safety and productivity of your organization at minimal cost. With a professional screener, you also get the option to consolidate all of your pre-employment and post-hire background screening services under the umbrella of one experienced provider.

Professional and accredited background screeners, such as InfoMart, can assist you in creating, implementing, and managing a random drug and alcohol testing program. Experienced in DOT and non-DOT drug and alcohol testing, InfoMart knows the various laws and regulations that can impact your business and build programs customized to your needs. Contact us today to learn more.

About Tammy Cohen

Tammy Cohen, an industry pioneer and expert in identity and employment screening, founded InfoMart 30 years ago. Deemed the “Queen of Screen,” she’s been a force behind industry-leading innovations. She was most recently the first-to-market with a fully compliant sanctions search, as well as a suite of identity services that modernizes talent onboarding. Tammy revolutionized the screening industry when she stepped into the field, developing the first client-facing application and a due diligence criminal search that has since become standard for all background screening companies. Cohen has received national awards and honors for her business and civic involvement, including Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Top 25 Women-Owned Firms in Atlanta, Enterprising Women Magazine’s Enterprising Women of the Year award, the YWCA of Northwest Georgia’s Kathryn Woods Racial Justice Award, and a commendation in the 152nd Congressional Record.

About InfoMart

InfoMart has been revolutionizing the global background and identity screening industry for 30 years, providing businesses the information they need to make informed hiring decisions. They develop innovative technology that modernizes talent onboarding, including a first-to-market biometric identity authentication application and a verified sanctions search. The WBENC-certified company is a founding member of the Professional Background Screening Association, and they have achieved PBSA accreditation in recognition of their consistent business practices and commitment to compliance with the FCRA. The company is dedicated to customer service, speed, and accuracy, and it has been recognized for its success, workplace culture, and corporate citizenship with over 45 industry awards. To Get the Whole Story on InfoMart, please visit, follow @InfoMartUSA, or call (770) 984-2727.

Pin It on Pinterest