In our Coast Guard Reasonable Suspicion Training Course we discuss how you determine reasonable suspicion in employees and, once you do, how you categorize and document the observations that have lead to your suspicion. You will learn:
The Role Of Evidence In Reasonable Suspicion Decisions
How much evidence must you have to make an employee take a reasonable suspicion drug test? We cover this topic in detail.
Obviously you need to have some observable reasons for your suspicion, and you need to be able to document and categorize those observations, as we will discuss later in the course.
But what observations must you make? And how certain do you have to be that the employee is inebriated? Is it okay to act on a hunch or an instinct? We discuss the USCG drug and alcohol policy regarding reasonable suspicion.
The Standards That Apply to Observations of Employees
We describe the specific standards for observations of employees regarding reasonable suspicion decisions. Of course, you can’t just document, “Well, Steve seemed like he was drunk today. So I drug tested him.”
No, you must elaborate on your observations of Steve. Pay attention to his speech, his eyes, his posture, his balance — observable signs that indicate something is amiss.
Why Current Drug and Alcohol Use Is Important
Even more, your observations have to be present-time. You must remove and test an employee NOW if you suspect drug and.or alcohol use.
Test results will not indicate drug and alcohol levels at the time of your observations if you wait a day or two.
And current drug and alcohol use while on duty poses the greatest risk. This comes as little surprise, but the employee presently drunk on the job is a greater risk than the employee who is hungover on the job, though neither is ideal.
The Five Types Of Observable Signs of Current Drug and Alcohol Use
We get into the the five types of observations you can make when determining reasonable suspicion, giving you a way to categorize and document what you see.
We want you to be able to adhere to USCG drug and alcohol policy as you go through the process of reasonable suspicion determination.
And again, the emphasis with the five observation types is on current drug use.
How To Identify Situations Where Reasonable Suspicion Testing Not Warranted
The DOT and USCG define reasonable suspicion in a technical manner. We may think we have reasonable suspicion of an employee’s drug use, but the DOT and USCG may see it differently. You need to know the technical definition and the conditions necessary for reasonable suspicion drug testing.
We cover the rules and standards of reasonable suspicion drug testing so that you will know when to test and when not to test. That is the question here.
First, the employee has to be in a safety-sensitive position. Second, you have to make certain observations regarding that employee. You may administer a drug test only if the conditions are met.
Reasonable suspicion drug testing is a major component of DOT drug and alcohol programs. Our Coast Guard Reasonable Suspicion Training Course provides USCG supervisors with the information they need to get through the process with ease and without fault.
And check out our USCG Supervisor Training Program, which is our only program to include the course.