Reasonable Suspicion Based Drug Testing
There’s a good chance you work for a company with a drug testing policy in place. All U.S. state laws allow employers to test their employees for drugs if they have a reasonable suspicion that the employee is impaired while on the job. But reasonable suspicion testing isn’t just for the workplace. There are many situations in which you may ask someone for or be asked for a reasonable suspicion drug test. One common scenario is in a divorce or child custody proceeding. You might also consider it with an intact family where a member of the family is struggling with substance abuse; the family can put a testing regimen in place to help monitor their loved one’s compliance with staying clean.
We all think we know “reasonable” when we see it. But in the workplace, there is a specific definition of “reasonable” that has to be followed. Reasonable suspicion is when a supervisor or co-worker directly observes and reports specific behaviors or physical signs of drug use that would cause a reasonable person to suspect that someone is using drugs or alcohol or is impaired. To be reasonable, the observations have to be current — just before, during or after the employee is working. So a boss’s “gut feeling” that an employee is under the influence doesn’t meet the legal definition of “reasonable suspicion” without something concrete and observable in their appearance, demeanor or behavior.
Reasonable Suspicion is Based On Observable Factors
Here are some examples of observable behaviors or evidence that would be the basis for reasonable suspicion:
- Odor of alcohol on the body or breath;
- Slurred speech;
- Red, glassy eyes;
- Unsteady on their feet while standing or walking;
- Lack of usual focus or ability to complete routine tasks;
- Confusion or disorientation;
- Erratic or unusual behavior
- Drugs or drug paraphernalia out in view or in the person’s possession
Beyond the Workplace: Reasonable Suspicion Testing for Individuals and Families
You might arrange for reasonable suspicion testing in other situations, not related to your job. For instance, it may be an option with some custody and visitation orders, where a parenting agreement includes a requirement that a parent submit to drug or alcohol testing as a condition to custody, visitation or transportation.
This can build trust and security among everyone involved in the situation. Children are protected from unnecessary risk of harm. Concerned parents, attorneys and judges have greater peace of mind and assurance that things will go as ordered and agreed. And people whose actions are in question can prove their compliance and not be refused custody or visitation based on manipulation or mean-spiritedness of the other parent.
Parents may seek testing if they are concerned that their child is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Regardless of the situation, ARCpoint Labs of Southern Maryland offers 24/7 testing. We can bring the test to you wherever you are to make sure the process is convenient and accurate. ARCpoint Labs of Southern Maryland is your partner for any situation in which reasonable suspicion of drug abuse is a concern.
For more information about reasonable suspicion drug testing or to schedule your own proactive, confidential drug test, contact your nearest ARCpoint Labs of Southern Maryland location.
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