Using Compliance and Legal To Support An Effective Drug Testing Program

Compliance and law

In 2018, DISA Global Solutions hosted it’s very first ‘Day with DISA’ drug testing symposium. This special event educated employers on the importance of maintaining compliance and drug testing policies within the era of ever-changing marijuana laws. As the second largest drug testing conference in the U.S., a ‘Day with DISA’ aimed to have attendees leave with a better understanding of the current drug testing environment and actionable information to help them form a safer working environment.

DISA welcomed Faye Caldwell, Legal Advisor & Litigator at Caldwell Everson PPL and David Porter, Chief Compliance Officer for Clinical Reference Laboratory (CRL) to talk to attendees about developing and implementing a proactive compliance/legal program to support their business. Together, their presentation gave insight to the importance of setting policies to meet and maintain compliance, prevent risks, and be legally prepared when something bad does happen.

“Customers expect compliance every time and they expect it in every situation,” states David.

“Despite every effort you make in a compliance program in your company, the bad thing will happen.”

In today’s world, drug testing procedures can differ and understanding the differences in each state’s laws can improve your procedures and secure compliance. This is crucial to keep your workplace safe and efficient without putting your company at risk. Ensuring that your prepared for the worst will help you avoid risks and maintain cost efficiency by preventing problems that could lead to lawsuits, fines, and/or fees.

“I’m guessing a lot of you have challenges because you have people in a lot of different places and trying to administer your programs across those multiple states, multiple industries, multiple verticals, can be very difficult.” – David Porter

Faye and David urge employers to prepare for the worst-case scenario through the implementation of compliance strategies across all parts of the collection process. The following are compliance strategies that will prevent legal issues and support an effective drug testing program for those who are involved in all aspects of the process.


  • Build a consistent, documented process
  • Create guideposts for collectors (when X happens, Y needs to be done)
  • Train to the process and tailor to state laws where necessary
  • Audit to the process


  • Identify state licensure requirements
  • Process for implementing requirements
  • System of checks to ensure continued compliance


  • Ensure each process has a decision tree
  • Obtain appropriate consent
  • Documentation/Reporting


  • “I may not be responsible, but I’ll get sued.”
  • Risk Assessment – understand the entire workflow that your donors are going to go through and identify potential failure points and problems. How bad is it and how likely is it going to occur?
  • Management – understand who owns the risk, what it is they’re supposed to do, and know how to ensure that they are doing it


  • Own the drug testing process
  • Own the risk (legal & safety)
  • Know your accommodation obligations
  • Policy considerations


When the bad thing happens, or when someone doesn’t like the outcome, you should address the situation from both a business/compliance perspective, as well as legal.


  • Engage legal immediately
  • Identify if there may be fault arising from your company
  • Prepare to immediately resolve issue if you caused the loss Use the situation as a catalyst for process/production improvement


  • Provide all information you would otherwise have to give
  • Cooperate on everything that does not harm your case
  • Look for early resolution or disposition  Fight like crazy on everything else

Faye states, “Your job is to provide your company with a safe workforce. Your donor is your customer and you owe it to them to have an effective, fair, and compliant drug testing program.” A proactive compliance and legal program will help support your business and avoid difficulties that may arise in today’s fast-paced and evolving drug testing environment.

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About DISA Global Solutions

Founded in 1986, DISA is the industry-leading provider of employee screening and compliance services. Headquartered in Houston, with more than 35 offices throughout the U.S. and Canada, DISA’s comprehensive scope of services includes drug and alcohol testing, background check, occupational health, and transportation compliance. DISA assists employers in making informed staffing decisions while building a culture of safety in their workplace.

DISA Global Solutions aims to provide accurate and informative content for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. The reader retains full responsibility for the use of the information contained herein. Always consult with a professional or legal expert.