Reasonable Suspicion Based Drug Testing
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, so there’s a good chance your employer has a drug testing policy in place. However, reasonable suspicion testing isn’t just for the workplace. There are many situations in which reasonable suspicion drug test requests are made, such as in a divorce or child custody proceeding or other family situations in which an individual is struggling with substance abuse.
While people may think there is a basic understanding of “reasonable” suspicion, there is not a set definition for families to follow. In the workplace, however, there is a specific definition of “reasonable” that has to be followed. Based on this definition, a supervisor or co-worker has to directly observe and report 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. The observations also have to be current — just before, during or after the employee is working. An employer’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
The following factors would be a legitimate basis for reasonable suspicion:
- Odor of alcohol on the body or breath
- Slurred speech
- Erratic or unusual behavior
- Unsteady on their feet while standing or walking
- Drugs or drug paraphernalia out in view or in the person’s possession
- Lack of usual focus or ability to complete routine tasks
- Red, glassy eyes
- Confusion or disorientation
Beyond the Workplace: Reasonable Suspicion Testing for Individuals and Families
While they are very common in the workplace, you might arrange for reasonable suspicion testing in other situations. For instance, it may be an option with some custody and visitation orders as a condition to receive or maintain custody, visitation or transportation rights.
Arrangements like this can build security and trust among everyone involved in the situation. Children are protected from unnecessary risk of harm and concerned adults, such as parents, attorneys and judges have peace of mind. For those whose actions are in question, this provides an opportunity to prove their compliance and not be refused custody or visitation. For concerned parents, this can be an option to test children for drugs and alcohol.
Regardless of the situation, ARCpoint Labs of Austin, TX North 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 Austin, TX North is your partner for any situation in which reasonable suspicion of substance abuse is present. For more information about reasonable suspicion drug testing or to schedule your own proactive, confidential drug test, contact ARCpoint Labs of Austin, TX North.
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