Employee Model Policies

Employee testing policies are more complex than applicant testing policies.  In addition to deciding which substances to test for and whether or not to use point of collection testing (POCT), employers must also decide whether to use probable cause, random or arbitrary testing, or a combination thereof.  A brief overview of the differences:

  • Probable cause testing (also known as reasonable suspicion) is based on a determination by a qualified observer that the employee may be abusing a substance.
  • Random testing is based on randomly selecting individuals from a pool.
  • Arbitrary testing is based on an event. This may be an employment anniversary, a contract obligation, or other non-cause related occurance.

In addition to choosing a testing regime, an employer implementing an employee testing policy must:

  • Consult with employees in the development of any section of the testing policy.
  • Give individual written notice to employees that it has submitted a testing policy to the Department of Labor for review.
  • Include instructions on both where and how an employee may review the proposed policy.
  • Inform employees of how and when they may comment to the Department of Labor and display the contact information prominently.
  • Employees must be given a minimum of 10 days to comment directly to the Department of Labor.
  • Upon approval, employees must be provided with a copy of the policy at least 30 days before the policy takes effect. 
  • In addition, if the employer has more than 20 full-time employees, it must have an Employee Assistance Program approved by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Below, several model policies are listed, some with point of collection testing (POCT) and others without.  The first page of each of these policies can be edited.

A note on POCT:
Point of collection testing is often referred to as rapid testing.  This is where a preliminary screening test is conducted at the site of collection.  In such instances, samples returning a negative result are immediately destroyed in view of the employee, while non-negatives are sent off to a certified laboratory for further testing.


Employees Testing Type With POCT Without POCT
20 or Fewer Probable Cause
Probable Cause/Random
More than 20 Probable Cause
Probable Cause/Random