Drug testing in the work place is a reality. Unfortunately, there are not many guidelines, and mistakes are made that change people's lives. Please read my story. I need a loud voice!
Kroger has greatly hurt my child with the very careless way they conduct their pre-employment drug testing. This event took place at Kroger store #818, 2090 Crown Plaza Dr. Columbus Ohio 43235, phone number 614-459-5645.
On October 22nd, 2005 my fourteen-year-old son's dreams were shattered. Ever since my son was 11 he talked of nothing but working at Kroger when he turned 14. On the 15th of October his dream came true.... Or so he thought.
My son, who I will call Freddy, interviewed with a young gal named Christine Faulk who is in charge of the hiring at Kroger store # 818. I asked Christine if I could be present during the interview. She told me that my
presence was not necessary being that the interview would only take about 10 minutes and would consist of her asking Freddy a couple of questions. At the end of the interview he was given an oral fluid drug test. I was not made aware of this before his interview. Freddy told me that he had gotten the job and was going to start orientation on the 24th, the day after his 14th
birthday, pending his work permit. It seemed that his little dreams were about to come true!!!!!
On the 22nd, our lives were forever changed when we were told that Freddy's drug test had FAILED !!! We immediately went back to Kroger and had Christine call "LabOne," the company that processed the test. They connected Freddy to a medical review officer who informed him that his test was positive for cocaine. Needless to say, we were shocked. Freddy with a tear-streaked face then took another oral fluid test in my presence. He was
given no instructions.
On returning home I looked over the donor copy of the chain of custody form which Christine had given us right before we left the store. I read the donor instructions and the collector instructions and realized that the test
I had just witnessed was not given following these instructions. I then called Christine and told her NOT to send in that test because the proper procedure had not been followed. She said she had not had a complaint about
the way she conducted the test since she started doing it in January, but she was willing to throw out the test if I felt uncomfortable about the way it was handled. I read Freddy the list of instructions, and asked him if
they had been followed during his first test at which I was not present. He told me they had not !!!
The instruction that I think is the most important is #4 which states that the DONOR is to place the specimen in vial, snap wand at scoring and recap, seal vial with specimen seal, initial and date the seal. This is an
important step because in ensures that the specimen in the vial does indeed belong to the donor!!! My son put his specimen in the vial and handed it to Christine. What happened to it after that no one knows.
The young man who was interviewed immediately after Freddy was the older brother of one of Freddy's friends and has a small reputation with the kids for drug abuse. Freddy said he felt sorry for this boy because of the drug test that this boy could not possibly pass. Maybe this boy's test got mixed up with Freddy's since Freddy NEVER closed, snapped, sealed, or initialed his own test.
To prove that a mistake was made, on October 26, 2005 Freddy had a five panel hair follicle drug test which gives an accurate, chronologicle, three month drug history . This test came back NEGATIVE!! I asked Kroger to erase Freddy's file since the mistake they had made caused the false positive result. They refused. They insisted that the fault was not theirs, and they
were unwilling to find out how this error occured.
To make a long story short, I was told that Freddy could not now or ever be employed by Kroger, and that this false positive result would remain in his file at Kroger and at LabOne. I suggested that since the first test was
administered improperly, and that this was proven by a more reliable subsequent test that was negitive, that the false positive test should be expunged. They stated "That is not part of our policy" Well, they either need to change their policy, or make sure that the test is properly administered in the first place.
I again pleaded with Kroger to remove all of Freddy's information from their records. They refused !!!!
How unfair that a person's future can be determined by a drug screen that was done in a flippant irresponsible manner !!!! Kroger is being highly irresponsible, and they don't seem to care about the lives of people who are
being affected by faulty testing procedures administered by untrained, irresponsible employees.
This should have been a positive experience for my child, yet no one I spoke with at Kroger seemed to care that this has devastated my son.
Of course, why should a big corporation like Kroger care about one little fourteen-year-old boy and his future? More than that; why is Kroger willing to let this happen again in the future to someone who has more to lose than
this fourteen year old boy does? How many people has Kroger already hurt because no one has challenged them in the past? How many more people will be hurt if somebody doesn't challenge them now?
Kroger has a responsibility to my son, their employees, and to the community to find out how this mistake was made so as to prevent another mistake from happening to someone who has more to lose than a fourteen year old boy.
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