Returning to Duty – COVID-19
The objective of drug and alcohol testing is not to “catch” drug misusers, but to discourage the misuse. If your policy includes and supports return-to-duty drug and alcohol testing you were already prepared. If not, it is generally unnecessary to “update” your staff’s pre-hire drug tests.
If wishing to conduct drug tests of those who were furloughed (with ongoing employment), Tomo recommends you work with your legal counsel to ensure your drug and alcohol policies are compliant with state law. State and local drug-testing laws may limit or prohibit testing of current employees on a suspicion-less basis, even if the employee has been on leave and away for work for some time so it is best to involve your counsel to cover all bases.
In contrast, employers and employees subject to mandatory drug testing such as those falling under Department of Transportation (DOT) may need an updated “pre-hire” drug test, or, if they were selected for random testing while on furlough, and may need to be sent for a random test upon their return to performing safety-sensitive work. If the employee was removed or omitted from your company’s random testing pool while on furlough (for a period of at least 30 days), a new DOT pre-hire test may be required to stay compliant.