Return-to-Duty Drug Testing

Return-to-duty testing often yields comparatively higher positivity rates due to the specific circumstances under which they are performed.

Man offering urine drug test cup to donorReturn-to-duty drug testing is for employees who have previously tested positive for illicit substances or violated a company’s drug and alcohol policy. For both the general U.S. workforce and the federally-mandated safety sensitive workforce, return-to-duty drug testing is a single test that is performed at a scheduled time, typically following the completion of a drug abatement program.
 
While companies within the general U.S. workforce can set their own rules and guidelines for return-to-duty tests, the safety-sensitive, federally-mandated workforce is governed by specific regulations. Under federally-mandated testing guidelines, return-to-duty drug tests are performed after one of three events: a positive drug test result, a refusal to test, or the violation of a specific drug or alcohol rule. Before completing the return-to-duty test, an employee must be evaluated by a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) and complete any counseling or treatment deemed necessary by the SAP. Return-to-duty drug tests must be conducted under direct observation for all federally-mandated employees.

Unlike most of the other reasons for testing, return-to-duty testing often yields comparatively higher positivity rates due to the specific circumstances under which they are performed. When utilized in combination with other reasons for testing, return-to-duty drug testing can play an important role in helping to maintain a drug-free workplace.

Drug testing can help to improve employee morale and productivity while decreasing absenteeism, accidents, downtime, turnover, and theft. Because every business and workforce is unique, every employer should make a careful determination about the drug testing program elements that are most beneficial for their workplace.

Download our Drug Testing Solution At-A-Glance matrix to compare urine, instant urine, oral fluid, and hair drug testing.
 
Download our Guide to Establishing a Workplace Drug Testing Program.

Read our Reasons for Testing blog series
 
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