Are Your Employees Cheating Drug Tests?
Written by Lucas Kibby, CleanFleet
Many employers understand drug and alcohol testing to be an important part of their business because they know that an effective drug testing program promotes a safe, productive workplace in addition to a multitude of other benefits.
Although the company is hoping to increase workplace safety and productivity, are employees cheating on these drug tests – leaving companies vulnerable to increased risk?
At CleanFleet, we have seen cheating at our collection sites, whether it is an out-of-temperature specimen, finding contraptions to help cheat, or even bribes to lie on the forms or provide their own specimen for them. It is not always the employees “fault” for cheating either. We have heard misguided attempts of employers or managers advising the employee to cheat!
Unfortunately, there are many publications that push content condoning cheating on drug tests and offering ways that may help you cheat a drug test. For example, one article on High Times states:
“Assuming you are not in the military or at a high-level ‘safety-first’ job, you will just have to enter a room and urinate into a small cup. Depending on the complexity of the test, employers can look for levels of certain chemicals to see if an applicant is intentionally trying to fool it.”
Then the article offers products to help cheat the drug test! Are these publications really allowing sponsored articles that are condoning cheating of drug tests, which is against the law in many states? The article, which you can read here, writes, “Thankfully for smokers who find themselves in a bind, companies like Serious Monkey Bizzness manufacture synthetic urine that is able to completely fool a drug test.”
But is it really that simple to cheat?
What a Drug Testing Collection Site Process Looks Like
At best-in-class collection sites, such as CleanFleet locations, collectors go through federal procedures, no matter the industry you work in, and look for occurrences of cheating a drug test. Collectors look for chemical and temperature specimen issues, social cues, and physical appearance (like bulky areas on the body that normally shouldn’t be there).
The proper process of giving a urine specimen help collectors spot issues of cheating as well.
First, the collector creates a secure collection site by restricting access to the site to only those being tested, securing all water sources, and placing blue dye in any standing water (toilet), and removing or securing all cleaning products/fluids at the collection site (especially if off-site at place of employment).
Second, the collector will ask your employee to remove any unnecessary garments and empty pockets (the tester may retain their wallet). After instructing your employee to wash and dry hands, the collector or tester will select a sealed collection kit and open it in their presence.
The collector will then leave and shut the door after instructing your employee to provide a specimen of their urine into a collection container but will be listening to ensure the specimen is given in a reasonable time.
Finally, when done, the collector will check the temperature and color of the urine (checking for adulteration of the specimen). If there is an issue of attempted adulteration or substitution of a specimen or any situation where general questions of validity arise, like an unusual temperature, the collector may be required to watch the process of the employee giving the urine specimen.
Employers Need to Educate Employees on the Costs of Cheating
But beyond the company’s own policy there are state laws that can affect the person cheating a drug test. For example, did you know that in Oregon falsifying a drug test is a Class B misdemeanor? This can lead to a maximum jail time of 6 months and a maximum fine of $2,500.
So, not only can the employee be fired from their job, they could face fines and potentially jail time. Would you want to trust a $25.00 product to help you cheat when serious ramifications can be on the line?
Do You Trust your TPA or Collection Site?
Be sure your drug and alcohol tests are handled by a reputable drug testing vendor. The wrong choice in a service agent for your drug testing services may or may not cause ongoing problems, but it only takes one test to go bad for devastating consequences to occur.
As Joe Reilly, past Chairman and current board member of the Drug & Alcohol Testing Industry Association (DATIA) said in an article, “drug and alcohol testing is serious business; it is not like buying office supplies where you get the lowest price for 100 staplers. You need a drug testing program with many moving parts and you need service, compliance, accuracy, and someone who will answer the phone.”
CleanFleet is a Best-In-Class TPA with the experience, training, staff, and certifications/accreditations needed to handle your company’s Drug Testing Program, no matter your industry. Call us today at 503-479-6082.
Remember: You don’t hire a plumber to do your electrical work, so why hire an urgent care clinic to do your drug testing? Read more on Basics In Evaluating A TPA