The Dos and Dont’s of Reasonable Suspicion Drug Testing

Drug testing in the workplace can lead to some awkward encounters. Employees can feel like the work environment is against them or that they are targeted if the topic of drug use is brought up. So how does an employer balance a somewhat touchy topic? Reasonable suspicion drug testing is how. This clause in any work contract lets the employee know that if there is any cause for suspicion, they will be tested.

What actually is Reasonable Suspicion?

The employer has a legitimate reason, based on sound judgement and hard evidence, to believe that the employee has been taking drugs. There is no guessing, speculating, listening to hearsay or discriminating against them.There also are exceptions to this criteria. Examples of reasonable suspicion might include but are not limited to:

* Direct observation of drug use and/or physical symptoms of drug use

* Abnormal behaviors

* Evidence that the employee has used, possessed, sold, solicited, or transferred drugs while working or at work

At Employment Screening Services, we are here to help you run a safer, more effective workplace. So here are some dos and dont’s when implementing a reasonable suspicion drug testing policy;


Let employees know up front that they are subject to being tested if there is a reasonable question of their sobriety. This question should be brought to light by 2 concurring supervisors.

Train management a minimum of two hours of on reasonable suspicion signs, symptoms and documentation. Retraining those individuals on a yearly basis is highly recommended.

Be specific! If filing a reasonable suspicion action against an employee, keep the language concise and specific as possible.


Do not based any action on a prior incident. Reasonable suspicion is only for events that you have directly seen!

Do not over exaggerate or use anecdotes. When creating the claim be specific as possible.

Employee Screening Services wants to help you decrease turnover, accidents, and theft from your workplace. If you’d like to talk about employment drug testing, just give us a call and we can start working together asap!