Hampton Knight are seeing an increase in the number employees appealing the outcome of their positive alcohol or drug test result, with some of the reasons given for these appeals being based on myths and misconceptions.
High-profile cases in the media such as the recent headline; “Angela Rippon shocked after positive drug test from poppy seeds” are all adding to these myths.
Separating Fact from Fiction
Clickbait headlines aside, many of the causes of false-positive test results are actually due to workplace testing guidelines not being followed correctly (e.g. untrained collection officers, testing kits that are not legally defensible), rather than the test result itself being incorrect.
Mistakes like these are are no laughing matter , with false-positive results sometimes leading to the company jumping to the wrong conclusion and dismissing an employee before they have all the facts.
When the workplace testing guidelines are followed correctly, it is highly unlikely that a positive test result can be from anything other than the use or misuse of alcohol or drugs, whatever the employee may claim.
Some common false-positive excuses which have no substance (excuse the pun), after laboratory testing and review, include:
- Consumed cough medicine
- Employee is diabetic
- Eaten poppy seeds
- Passive inhalation of cannabis
- Handled money which contained cocaine remnants
- Consumed CBD oil
In addition, if an employee purchases medicines or herbal remedies from the internet and the site they use is not based in the UK, the employee should understand there is an implication if the medicines or remedies contain substances that are illegal in the UK, as their test result would be reported as positive.
Whatever the reason for the appeal, it is important for companies to have a clear procedure in place to deal with an appeal and not dismiss it (or the employee) out of hand!
This is where Hampton Knight can help, we offer expert advice to our clients when an appeal has been raised and can provide information that supports the outcome of the positive test result and demonstrate that it was not due to any other reason. We have supported many clients who were not sure if the employees’ reason for the appeal was based on myth which led to doubts as to the validity of the test result but with our support, we could confirm that the test result was indeed positive.
For more information or clarification on workplace testing guidelines, legally defensible testing programmes or if you have any queries regarding a testing result, please contact Hampton Knight on 01827 65999.