Drug Testing and the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988

Topics: Drug test, Employment, Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 Pages: 10 (2348 words) Published: June 3, 2014


Drug Testing and The Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988
Ann-Marie Kirkhus
Concordia University
12/08/2013

Drug Testing and The Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988
Introduction
Mandatory drug testing has always been a topic of debate. It questions the Fourth Amendment regarding “search and seizure”. The Supreme Court has maintained that employees who are required to submit body fluids and have them tested for illegal substances is considered a “search” (Walsh, 2013). Employers have reasonable concerns for the use of illegal substances in the workplace due to safety hazards and workman’s compensation premiums. This paper will examine the law on drug testing and The Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988. It will also discuss how employers and employees are affected by these two topics. This paper is based on research done through books and on the internet. This writer will offer examples of possible recommendations to an organization based on the readings of the material and conclusions of thought. The Law

According to the American Screening Corporation’s web document The History of Workplace Drug Testing, it is stated The Ford Company established the first Drug Free Workplace program in 1914 (Unknown, Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 Requirements, 2013). The 1968 Olympic Games in Munich was the first time drug screening was done on athletes (Chapman, 2010). Drug screening on Vietnam Vets started in the late 1960’s and by 1981 the U.S. military had conducted a million drug screens each year. President Ronald Reagan signed an Executive order in 1986, to require random drug testing on select on Federal employees. President Reagan also put into effect The Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988 that required policies and procedures of government contractors to be put in place as part of the “War on Drugs” campaign. In 1988, The Department of Transportation also adopted requirements of random drug testing of railroad workers, airplane pilots, bus and truck drivers, and energy pipeline workers. State and local governments, school systems, and private organizations started to adopt new policies and procedures for drug testing.

Currently, Minnesota employers may require an applicant to provide a body fluid sample for drug testing as long as a job offer is in place (Lindquist & Vennum, 2011). The same test must be administered to all applicants for the same position. The employer must have a written policy for drug and alcohol testing. This policy must be given to each employee as well as be properly displayed in the workplace. Prior to testing, an applicant must sign acknowledgement of reading, receiving, and understanding the policy that passing the drug test is required before an employer can move forward with hiring the employee. In the case where the applicant fails a drug test, they have the opportunity to list any prescribed medications and provide any explanation for a positive drug test. An applicant may also request a third (after the first positive a second test is done to confirm the positive result automatically) test done on the same sample at the applicant’s expense. “The employer must ensure compliance with regulations published by the Minnesota Department of Health with respect to chain of custody and laboratory procedures, and it must assure that all drug testing information is kept strictly confidential (Lindquist & Vennum, 2011)”. If an applicant does not pass the drug test, an employer may withdraw the offer of employment and inform the reason for the withdrawal within ten days of the decision to not hire the applicant. The Department of Transportation has different rules regarding the pre-employment drug testing. These rules are very complex and an employer should consult an attorney when complying with these rules. As described in An Employer’s guide to Employment Law Issues in Minnesota (Lindquist & Vennum, 2011) , once an employee is hired, an employer may request a drug and alcohol test under...

References: Chapman, R. (2010). Drug Testing from Culture Wars: An Encyclopedia of Issues, Viewpoints, and Voices. Retrieved from Credo Reference: http://www.credoreference.com.ezproxy.csp.edu/book/sharpecw
Lindquist, & Vennum. (2011). The Employers Guide To Employment Law Issues in Minnesota. St. Paul: Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.
Maurer, R. (2013, November 25). Workplace Drug Positives Down Signifigicantly Since 1988. Retrieved from SHRM: http://www.shrm.org/hrdisciplines/safetysecurity/articles/Pages/Workplace-Drug-Positives-Down.aspx
Unknown. (2013). Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 Requirements. Retrieved from United States Department of Labor: http://www.dol.gov/elaws/asp/drugfree/screenr.htm
Unknown. (2013). The History of Workplace Drug Testing. Retrieved from American Screening Corporation: http://www.americanscreeningcorp.com/The-History-of-Workplace-Drug-Testing-W126.aspx
Walsh, D. J. (2013). Employment Law for Human Resource Practice. Mason: South-Western Cengage Learning.
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