Can I test an employee for drugs without a policy / program in place?

It would not be prudent to do so. Most states require a workplace drug testing policy in place before any employee can be tested for drugs. But even in states that do not have drug testing laws like Pennsylvania or Hawaii, you can expose your business to civil litigation claiming unfair employee practices and discrimination by testing employees without a policy. Agathos Labs can help you develop a program expeditiously… us today

If I have a zero tolerance policy, can I fire an employee who tested positive and keep another who also tested positive but with great productivity?

I will not be in the best interest of your business to do so because you will be exposing you business to discrimination litigation. Your drug testing policy should affect all employees equally.


What percentage of my employees should be randomly tested?

Well it is up to you to decide. We recommend using rates comparable to those used by the  US Department of Transportation (DOT). Below is a table of current US DOT random test rates,


The following chart outlines the annual minimum drug and alcohol random testing rates established within DOT Agencies and the USCG for 2012
DOT Agency 2012 Random Drug Testing Rate 2012 Random Alcohol Testing Rate

Federal Aviation Administration [FAA]

25% 10%

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [FMCSA]

50% 10%

Federal Railroad Administration [FRA]

25% 10%

Federal Transit Administration [FTA]

25% 10%

Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration [PHMSA]

25% N/A

United States Coast Guard [USCG] (now with the Dept. of Homeland Security)

50% N/A

Drug-Free Program

What are my options when an employee test positive for drugs?

A majority of federal and state laws do not define what actions to take if an employee test positive for illegal drugs, so it is up to you to decide. Below is a list of common actions. Remember, do not test or take any action against an employee until you have established and published a policy ALL employees are aware of. Also, disciplinary action must apply to all employees. You cannot pick and choose who you discipline and who you don’t.

– Immediate removal from duty
– Suspend without pay for a period of 30 days
– Refer to a substance abuse professional for assessment and recommendations
– Require employee successfully complete recommended rehabilitation
– Require employee pass a Return-to-Duty Test and sign a Return-to-Work Agreement
– Subject employee to ongoing, unannounced, follow-up testing for a period of five years
– Terminate immediately if employee test positive a second time or violates the Return-to-Work Agreement
– Immediate termination for employees who test positive

Random Testing Consortium

What is a Random Testing Consortium?

A random testing consortium (RTC) is the aggregation of employees into a pool for the purpose of random drug testing. Employees are represented by numerical values (to hide identity) and are selected randomly for testing by an algorithm designed to select with a certain periodicity (say every 3 months) and rate (say 20% of those in the pool annually) 

What is the advantage of joining a random testing consortium?

Joining a random testing consortium is especially advantageous for small to medium-sized businesses (SMB) with a a small number of employees (1 to 60). By adding your employees to a testing pool which contain employees from other businesses, selection of employees for testing is fair and amenable for your employees and business but still, the  goal of employee drug use deterrence is still accomplished. In addition, just like an insurance company, joining a pool reduces the testing cost for its members.

How often are employees tested and how many get tested?

“Periodicity” is used to refer to how often employees get tested. For example, every month or every quarter. Every pool has a testing rate – which is the number of random testing performed annually. Rates usually range from 10 to 50%. In the case of a 50% rate, one-half the total number of employees in the pool random test is performed annually. This is not the same as testing the 50% of employees in the pool! Remember, employees are selected randomly which means there is a possibility some employees are selected more than once and others not selected at all but at the end of the year, enough test would have been conducted to equal 1/2 of the total number of people in the pool. The larger the pool, the smaller the chances of a repeat test.

The federal Department of Transportation (DOT) recommends testing rates of 10 to 50% depending on the type of work.

Why should my company join your consortium?

Just like with insurance companies, not all consortia are created equal. First and foremost, we provide the best annual consortium rates in the industry. For as little as $90/year you can join our consortium. We challenge you to look around for a price better than this. Also, you want a company with good customer service – one you reach anytime for your question and concerns. Some consortia out there are just websites – you don’t even know who you dealing with. You also want a consortium that can provide expert testimony and litigation services just in case you require such services. Below are the services you get by joining our consortium:

– Best prices
– Drug-free workplace certificate
– Thousands of collection sites to choose from
– SAMSHA/DOT certified testing
– Certified medical review of results
– Quarterly random testing selection
– Drug-free workplace program
– Discount on other drug testing service
– Discount on rapid testing devices
– Get test results online
– Order supplies and products online
– Online registration for sample donation
– Training of supervisors and employees

How do I add or remove employees from the consortium?

Its simple, to add an employee, send us an email with the name and last for digits of the employees social security number (or unique employee #). To remove an employee, just send us their first and last name. Send the name/s and information to Please include the name of your company and your account number to expedite changes.