A checklist for reasonable suspicion is need to train supervisors in confronting an employee for reasonable suspicion training. Be sure to add this element in your drug and alcohol awareness class in how to document incidents properly that can support a request for a drug
test is absolutely crucial because organizational or legal challenges, if they
arise, will require that the supervisor demonstrated a credible basis for
requesting a test.
This makes teaching documentation skills to supervisors, and
not just learning about drug and alcohol symptoms, as an important skill. Of
course, the DOT does not require you to teach documentation, as illogical as it
seems. It makes you wonder why not. One could say this is especially crucial if
you are concerned about protecting employee rights.
Nevertheless, did you know that there is a 60% chance that a
lawsuit will be won in court by the employee, no matter what the case might be,
and that an jury-determined settlement is typically 500% greater than an out of
court settlement when it comes to employment claims litigation?
Learn how to document in reasonable suspicion training is
obviously crucial, and it sure can be cost-beneficial!
Of course, like other topics associated with reasonable
suspicion, this is not difficult to teach, but plenty of examples help as part
of a extensive checklist. One good handout or tip sheet we use in the reasonable
suspicion training program at WorkExcel.com forces the supervisor to elaborate
on what he or she is documenting and seeing with their own eyes. This is to
ensure that no subject language is used in the documentation which cannot be
quantified. Examples also help the supervisor not begin any bad habits that create
lousy documentation useless for its purposes, especially the termination of an employee
who refuses a drug test, and then is subsequently fired only to return later to
sue the organization.
Another critical reason to have a good suspicion behavioral signs and symptoms checklist
that will help in producing useful documentation is that sometimes employees do
not remember the hour or day they were confronted. Later they will lie
vehemently and say they were never in your office, never confronted, and will
say they were not asked to take a the reasonable suspicion test they refused. The
reason is – alcoholic blackout. It happens. And it happened to me. I once had
an employee in my office. He got in trouble shooting off a hunting rifle on the
property when I worked for Kennecott Copper Corporation at the Bingham Pit in
Utah. He was drunk. And he had the slight smell of alcohol in my office, but otherwise
had a completely coherent conversation with me. The following day, he met with
me, but denied ever meeting me or being in my office the day before. Think
about how important documentation is in these circumstances.
Reasonable suspicion testing for substance abuse in the
workplace has been upheld by the courts, but it is still necessary to have
appropriate documentation that supports the request for the test. Additionally,
the employee will be strongly inclined to argue against the facts as the
supervisor recalls them. If the supervisor does not have proper documentation,
he or she is screwed.