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Quality Control and Quality Assurance specimens should be run with any in-house testing programs.


in-house is a huge cost savings. Tey can purchase cheap tests from Internet websites and provide litle to no training to the em- ployees responsible for administering the collection. A quick Internet search resulted in finding test kits that cost as litle as 30 cents per test. Tey can alternatively pur- chase tests from an outside company that comes in and trains their employees. What happens when those employee move on? What if the employees have compromised ethics? What happens if their testing proce- dures are inconsistent because they do not perform tests oſten enough to remember all the steps? Or, what happens when an employee refutes the validity of the testing procedure or results? Quality Control and Quality Assurance


T


specimens should be run with any in-house testing programs. A negative and a positive quality control sample must be run at least each day testing is performed. A Quality As- surance sample (also called a blind sample) should also be run each day testing is per- formed. All non-negative instant tests must be confirmed using either GC/MS, GC/ MS/MS or LC/MS/MS prior to taking any action on an employee. While it is certainly true that these in-house testing kits can be purchased for a very low price, you get what you pay for. Tis is why it is so important to have a quality control, quality assurance program and confirm all non-negative tests. Tere are also recommendations from the forensic community that 10-30 percent of all negative instant tests be sent to the laboratory for testing. Some recent data indicated that the instant tests had a false negative rate of 35 percent for cocaine.2 Adding these necessary items to an


in-house testing program will certainly increase the reliability of the testing results, but will also significantly increase the overhead of this program. A through cost analysis and taking into account the issues


36 datia focus


o begin, let’s look at why employ- ers may perceive that having their drug-testing program done


relating to personnel training and record keeping might suggest that it is more cost effective to have the drug testing program managed by a third party. Terminating an employee based on the


results of one of these possibly tainted test results could lead to a wrongful termination or a discrimination lawsuit. In an article by John Freeman on wrongful termination setlements, he states that “[t]he aver- age wrongful termination can range from $100,000 to a million dollars.”1


Tis type of


setlement will quickly negate any per- ceived cost savings.


How can employers mitigate the potential for litigation? HR Solutions, Inc., “a Chicago-based


management consulting firm specializing in employee engagement surveys,” analyzed recurring themes in employee surveys.3 Tey found that unfair treatment was one of the chief complaints made by employees against their employers. Being repeatedly selected for drug screening could leave an employee feeling like the employer is treat- ing them unfairly. When employees feel that they have been treated unfairly they are more likely to seek the assistance of an atorney and file a lawsuit. Performing in-house drug testing sets an


employer up for litigation based on unfair practices and discrimination. Atorneys may question how the random selection was conducted. • Was it done by just tossing the names into a bag and pulling out a name?


• Was it done by a random generator? • Could the person that was doing the selection have compromised ethics and have pulled out a name or run the gen- erator until the desired name came up? Te answer to the last question is a resounding “yes.” To mitigate the liability risk, it is im-


portant for employers to hire an outside source to do the random selection. Tis


summer 2013


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