Mon, June 27th, 2011 - 4:23 am - By Gordon Basichis
Drug Testing is always a hot button issue. It is a background check where, like with employment credit reports, people have strong opinions. Employer zero tolerance drug policies have in recent years duked it out both in the courts and the workplace with the medical marijuana advocates. Real issues regarding employees with legitimate reasons for using medical marijuana are contesting the harder edge policies on the part of most employers.
No matter. It is essential that employers stay current and show willingness to update their drug screening policies. These are certainly background checks that won’t be going away anytime soon. So, with that in mind…
Here are three possible reasons to update your company drug and alcohol testing policy
- The impact of Medical Marijuana on your program;
- ADA amendments that now impact your program; and
- New DOT rules.
If you have not addressed these issues, you must do so. Here’s what is happening:
Medical Marijuana: Fifteen (15) states and Washington, DC, now permit the medical use of marijuana. At least 15 more states have legislation on this subject currently pending. Each state’s laws are different, ranging from no application to the workplace (California) to limiting employer action without appropriate policies in place.
ADA Amendments: The ADA Amendment Act of 2008 took effect on January 1, 2009. The regulations interpreting that law will take effect July 1, 2011. Unlike previous Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) rules, these new rules directly impact workplace drug testing in two ways:
- the substances for which you are permitted to test (limited to DHHS-5, amphetamines, cocaine, marijuana, opiates, and PCP), and
- you can no longer have general rules requiring employees to report prescriptions.
DOT: There have been a number of DOT program updates over the past two (2) years. If you have employees who are required to have a commercial drivers license (CDL) as a requirement for employment, you should update
So stay current. Stay aware. And check them out before you hire.