How to Screen Employees Effectively

How to Screen Employees Effectively

Employee screening is an essential process for any organization aiming to maintain a safe, productive, and compliant work environment. From pre-employment queries to random testing, understanding the various aspects of employee screening is crucial for HR professionals, employers, and fleet managers. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the key components of employee screening, including drug testing, compliance with federal and state regulations, and the role of Medical Review Officers (MROs).

What Our Customers Say about Us

John L gave us a 5 star google rating and said, From the beginning, Brenda has been a wealth of knowledge and has been very patient explaining aspects of the DOT random drug testing program. I called multiple times to clarify our responsibility and what WSI could do to help and Brenda has been cheerful and eager to help us get started. Phil the CEO of the company also provided guidance and was knowledgeable and was very pleasant throughout. I’m glad to have found WSI, this is truly a customer first company.

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Need to order a drug screen or other employee screening service today?  Contact our knowledgeable support staff at 844-573-8378 or press on link to order now:

Employee Drug Testing

Why is Employee Drug Testing Important?

Employee drug testing is vital for maintaining workplace safety and productivity. It helps identify individuals who may pose a risk due to substance abuse, ensuring a safer work environment for everyone. Drug testing can also protect your company from potential legal issues and financial losses.

Types of Drug Tests

  1. 5 Panel Drug Test:
  • Tests for common substances like marijuana, cocaine, opiates, amphetamines, and PCP.
  • Suitable for most general employment screening purposes.
  • 10 Panel Drug Test:
  • Tests for additional substances, including barbiturates, benzodiazepines, methadone, propoxyphene, and methaqualone (quaaludes).
  • Ideal for industries where a broader screening is necessary.
  • Customized Panels:
  • We have thousands of panels to meet every employers needs.  Hair follicle drug testing, oral Fluid drug testing, Fentanyl test, Meperidine test, and many more test are available.

Electronic Ordering and Tracking

Utilizing electronic ordering and tracking systems can significantly enhance the efficiency of your employee screening process. These systems provide real-time updates on where an applicant or employee is in the screening process, from showing up at the testing site to the specimen being in the lab and the MRO process. This transparency ensures you can make timely hiring decisions without any doubt.

Regulated Drug Test vs. Non Regulated Drug Test

Understanding the difference between regulated and non-regulated drug tests is crucial for compliance and effective screening.

Regulated Drug Test

Regulated drug tests are mandated by federal agencies, such as the Department of Transportation (DOT). These tests follow strict guidelines and are required for safety-sensitive positions in industries like transportation and aviation.

  • DOT Physicals:
  • Include a comprehensive medical exam to ensure the individual is fit for safety-sensitive duties.
  • Often accompanied by a DOT drug test.
  • DOT Drug Testing:
  • Includes pre-employment, random, post-accident, return-to-duty, and follow-up testing.
  • Requires adherence to the DOT Drug and Alcohol Testing policy.
  • Regulated Drug Test should be done on regulated test form or they may not count towards compliance.

Non Regulated Drug Test

Non regulated drug tests are not governed by federal guidelines and are typically used by private employers for general workplace drug testing.

  • Non-DOT Drug Test:
  • Provides flexibility in testing frequency and substances screened.
  • Commonly used for pre-employment and random testing in non-safety sensitive roles.
  • Non Regulated Drug Test should be completed on non regulated drug test form or you may face fines from the DOT.
  • Non-DOT Physicals:
  • Focus on the overall health and fitness of the employee without the stringent requirements of DOT physicals.

DOT Drug Testing

What is DOT Drug Testing?

DOT drug testing is a federally mandated program designed to ensure the safety of transportation and safety-sensitive industries. It involves testing for substances like marijuana, cocaine, opiates, amphetamines, and PCP.

DOT Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy

Adhering to the DOT Drug and Alcohol Testing policy is critical for compliance. This policy outlines the procedures for conducting drug and alcohol tests, including:

  • Pre-employment testing
  • Random testing
  • Post-accident testing
  • Return-to-duty testing
  • Follow-up testing

Failed DOT Drug Test

If an employee fails a DOT drug test, they must immediately be removed from safety-sensitive duties. The employee must then undergo a SAP Process which can include counseling and will include return-to-duty test and follow-up testing as part of the rehabilitation process.

NON DOT Drug Testing

What is a Non-DOT Drug Test?

A non-DOT drug test is used by private employers to screen for drug use outside the federally mandated guidelines. These tests offer flexibility in terms of substances screened and testing frequency.

Types of Non-DOT Drug Screening

  • Pre-employment Testing:
  • Conducted before hiring to ensure the candidate is drug-free.
  • Random Testing:
  • Helps deter drug use by testing employees at random intervals.
  • Post-Accident Testing:
  • Conducted after a workplace accident to determine if drug use was a factor.

Non-DOT Drug Screen Methods

Non-DOT drug screens can be conducted using various methods, including urine, saliva, and hair follicle tests. The choice of method depends on the employer’s preference and the substances being tested for.

Drug Screening Near Me

Finding convenient drug screening locations near me is essential for a smooth employee screening process. Many companies offer a network of testing sites, making it easier for employees to find a drug test near them.  You have come to the right place.  We have over 20,000 plus electronically enabled collection sites near your workplace or home.  This means you can order today and you or your employee can complete today or by your deadline.

Drug Screening Locations Near Me

Need to find a drug screen location near me?  Feel free to utilize our handy collection site locater.  It will provide a list of collection sites near your workplace or employee’s home.  Press on link and enter city and state or zip code:

Medical Review Officer (MRO)

Role of a Medical Review Officer

A Medical Review Officer (MRO) is a licensed physician responsible for reviewing and interpreting drug test results. The Medical Review Officer ensures the accuracy and integrity of the testing process.

  • Medical Review Officer Responsibilities:
  • Verify laboratory results
  • Contact employees for additional information if needed
  • Determine if there is a legitimate medical explanation for a positive result
  • Manges Safety Sensitive Letter and non-contact positive process

Benefits of Having an Medical Review Officer

Having an Medical Review Officer as part of your employee screening process ensures compliance with federal regulations and maintains the credibility of your drug testing program.

Simplifying FMCSA Clearinghouse Compliance with CTPA Services

Navigating the FMCSA Clearinghouse doesn’t have to be a headache. The Clearinghouse, created by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), is vital for tracking drug and alcohol violations by commercial drivers, ensuring industry-wide safety. Employers must report any violations, like failed tests, to keep non-compliant drivers out of sensitive roles until they complete a return-to-duty process.

Steps to Comply with the FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse Mandate

  1. Register in the FMCSA Clearinghouse.
  2. Update your DOT Drug and Alcohol Testing policy with an FMCSA Clearinghouse addendum.
  3. Educate supervisors and employees about their rights and responsibilities under the FMCSA Clearinghouse.
  4. Conduct pre-employment queries for every new hire in the FMCSA Clearinghouse.
  5. Perform annual queries on all drivers in the FMCSA Clearinghouse.
  6. Report all positive alcohol tests to the FMCSA Clearinghouse.
  7. Document and report collection site refusals in the FMCSA Clearinghouse.
  8. Report all known drug and alcohol use in the FMCSA Clearinghouse.
  9. Report return-to-duty tests in the FMCSA Clearinghouse.
  10. Report completion of follow-up testing programs in the FMCSA Clearinghouse.
  11. Medical Review Officers (MROs) must report all positive drug screens in the FMCSA Clearinghouse.

Why Use a CTPA?

Compliance can be complex and time-consuming. This is where a Consortium/Third-Party Administrator (CTPA) like Workplace Screening Intelligence (WSI) comes in. Leveraging a CTPA for FMCSA Clearinghouse compliance offers multiple benefits:

  • Expert Management: WSI’s FMCSA Clearinghouse Program handles the heavy lifting, ensuring that all required steps are completed accurately and on time.
  • Time Savings: Focus on your core business while WSI manages your compliance needs.
  • Reduced Risk: Minimize the risk of fines and penalties by ensuring full compliance with FMCSA regulations.
  • Comprehensive Support: From policy updates to employee education, WSI provides full-spectrum support to make compliance as seamless as possible.

Contact Us

For more information about WSI’s FMCSA Clearinghouse Program, feel free to contact our support staff at 844-573-8378 or You can also learn more by visiting our website.

Simplify your compliance process with expert help from Workplace Screening Intelligence!

Not so Frequently Asked Questions

Random Testing

Random testing is an essential component of maintaining a drug-free workplace. It helps deter drug use by testing employees at unpredictable intervals.

What Random Consortiums does Workplace Screening Offer:

DOT Consortiums:

FAA Random Testing Consortium, FMCSA Random Testing Consortium, FRA Random Testing Consortium, FTA Random Testing Consortium, PHMSA Random Testing Consortium, US Coast Guard Random Testing Consortium, and FMCSA Owner Operator Random Testing Consortium

NON-DOT Random Consortiums:

CAPUC Random Testing Consortium, Ohio BWC 5% Random Testing Consortium, Ohio BWC 15% Random Testing Consortium, NON DOT Random Testing Consortium.

What are Quaaludes?

Quaaludes, also known as methaqualone, are a sedative-hypnotic drug that was commonly prescribed in the 1960s and 1970s. They are now illegal in many countries due to their high potential for abuse.

Can You Test for Ketamine?

Yes, ketamine can be detected through specialized drug tests. It is essential to specify ketamine testing when ordering a drug screen, as it is not typically included in standard panels.

Can You Test for Shrooms?

Testing for psilocybin (the active ingredient in magic mushrooms) is possible but less common. It requires specialized testing methods not typically included in standard drug panels.


Effective employee screening is crucial for maintaining a safe, productive, and compliant workplace. By understanding the different types of drug tests, the role of Medical Review Officers, and the importance of the FMCSA Clearinghouse, HR professionals, employers, and fleet managers can make informed decisions that benefit their organizations.

Ready to Simplify Your Employee Screening Process?

With over 30 years of experience, Workplace Screening Intelligence is here to help you focus on your business while we take care of compliance. Our advanced electronic ordering and tracking systems ensure you know exactly where your employees and applicants are in the screening process.

[Get Started with Workplace Screening Intelligence Today]

By leveraging our expertise and technology, you can rest assured that your employee screening process will be efficient, compliant, and transparent. Don’t leave your hiring decisions to chance—partner with us and discover the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’ve made the right choice.

This blog post has covered the essential aspects of employee screening, including the differences between DOT and non-DOT drug testing, the role of the FMCSA Clearinghouse, and the benefits of using a Medical Review Officer. By following the guidelines and best practices outlined here, you can ensure your organization remains compliant and maintains a safe and productive work environment.

What Our Customers say about Us

Carlie M. gave us a 5 Star Google Review and said, “Brenda is amazing! Always so helpful and knowledgeable. Switching from our old provider to WSI has made my job SO much easier”!!

Need to order a drug screen or other employee screening service today?  Contact our knowledgeable support staff at 844-573-8378 or press on link to order now: