Random Drug Test: Dilemma!

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Lynyrd
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Random Drug Test: Dilemma!

Postby Lynyrd » Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:50 am

I walked into a dilemma this week and I found myself in a position where I was facing two company policies that were in direct conflict of each other.

My name got pulled for a random drug test. In these cases we are supposed to report immediately to a specific area of the building and submit a urine sample. Any refusal or delay is grounds for termination. So, after getting my notice (which was left on my desk) I walked to the designated room and found a lab technician there and handed him the paperwork that was left on my desk.

He introduced himself, confirmed my ID, and then said I needed to empty my pockets. This request was a surprise, in more ways than one. Having undergone some training in random drug testing many years ago as a department manager, I knew that people trying to defeat the test might be carrying something on them to doctor the test with. Some have even gone so far as to carry a urine sample from anther person. These methods are more often used in a pre-employment drug screen than with a random, but the rules for the drug screen are the same either way. The technician must follow certain protocols to make sure that you are giving them a sample that has not be tainted in any way by an effort to defeat the test. So the request was not a surprise after I thought about it for a half a second and remembered that this was part of the procedure.

The other surprise made me pause for at least a second or more, and that pause made me look guilty. Now I've got two problems. First, I was carrying and by company policy I cannot reveal to anyone that I am carrying. Second, I now look guilty for pausing, and this technician is scrutinizing me carefully. On this particular day I was wearing a S&W Shield .45 in a Desantis OWB holster. My shirt was untucked and covered the holster and the two spare mags on my belt. But, emptying all of my pockets and satisfying this lab technicians duty to perform his job without revealing the fact that that I was carrying a gun was going to require a magic act. What to do? What to do? Lose if I do, lose if I don't.

I won't go into detail here, but I managed to get through the test without causing any alarm, or exposing my weapon. Quick thinking saved me from a potentially difficult situation.

The reason I am posting this is that some on this forum have an influence on their company's weapons policy. I actually wrote the policy for our company and this one particular scenario did not enter my mind as I was writing the policy. I have even had a couple of members PM me with questions about my company's weapons policy. Our policy says that your weapon must remain on your person at all times. It also says that you cannot reveal to anyone that you are carrying. So, not only must we CC, we cannot talk about it to anyone.

For those of you who have a chance to influence company policy, there needs to be clear allowances and exceptions for random drug tests and medical emergencies. In such cases it may be impossible for the employee to remain concealed.

P.S. I completely support random drug tests. This post should in no way be taken as being against that practice. Some types of jobs are mandated by federal regulation to be under a drug testing program. I happen to work for a company that decided to include all employees in their program. It makes the workplace safer for everyone IMHO.
Do what you say you're gonna do.


Tex1961
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Re: Random Drug Test: Dilemma!

Postby Tex1961 » Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:59 am

I would say that since this technician was a "3rd party" and the situation was outside of normal company operations that you would have been ok. But my opinion really doesn't mean squat to you're bosses I'm sure...

I'm lucky I guess. My company policy is a 9mm and a 380 within 12 - 18 inches from my hands at my desk at any time.. My contractors usually are carrying as well.

I admit though, there are times when I have to walk to the other side of the office and I am about 8 feet away from my firearms.. My company policy on drug usage is pretty clear... NONE....


Helps to be a company of 1.
NORM CROSBY
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Lynyrd
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Re: Random Drug Test: Dilemma!

Postby Lynyrd » Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:06 pm

Tex1961 wrote:I would say that since this technician was a "3rd party" and the situation was outside of normal company operations that you would have been ok. But my opinion really doesn't mean squat to you're bosses I'm sure...


There were other employees present who were also selected randomly. If it had only been me and the technician, or if it had been at a remote location I would have had much more latitude in how to handle it.
Do what you say you're gonna do.

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OldCurlyWolf
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Re: Random Drug Test: Dilemma!

Postby OldCurlyWolf » Fri Dec 15, 2017 11:36 am

Lynyrd wrote:
Tex1961 wrote:I would say that since this technician was a "3rd party" and the situation was outside of normal company operations that you would have been ok. But my opinion really doesn't mean squat to you're bosses I'm sure...


There were other employees present who were also selected randomly. If it had only been me and the technician, or if it had been at a remote location I would have had much more latitude in how to handle it.


If you don't get the CC policy changed. Make the "Technician" do such only in private.

What were other employees doing being present when the tech demanded that you empty your pockets?
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Lynyrd
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Re: Random Drug Test: Dilemma!

Postby Lynyrd » Fri Dec 15, 2017 12:26 pm

OldCurlyWolf wrote:
Lynyrd wrote:
Tex1961 wrote:I would say that since this technician was a "3rd party" and the situation was outside of normal company operations that you would have been ok. But my opinion really doesn't mean squat to you're bosses I'm sure...


There were other employees present who were also selected randomly. If it had only been me and the technician, or if it had been at a remote location I would have had much more latitude in how to handle it.


If you don't get the CC policy changed. Make the "Technician" do such only in private.

What were other employees doing being present when the tech demanded that you empty your pockets?


The other employees were waiting their turn for the test. There was a table set up where we had to empty our pockets before going into another room to give the sample. I have spoken to the boss about what happened, and we will make some adjustments to the policy to allow for the situation.
Do what you say you're gonna do.


Boxerrider
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Re: Random Drug Test: Dilemma!

Postby Boxerrider » Fri Dec 15, 2017 6:59 pm

How about a separate room with lockers? Could be as small as a closet. Go in, place the contents of your pockets (and handgun/spare mags...) in a locker and keep the key.
I'm glad to see your employer is accommodating for this.

Jeff


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