Drug Testing News & Updates

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The History of the Supervisor

In modern society, it is believed that supervisors have existed as long as humans have been around. While it is true that there have always been leaders and those that others follow, the role of a supervisor has only been defined in the past few centuries as government policy became more prominent and complicated. In

Knox County: Evaluating the Constitutionality of Suspicionless and Reasonable Suspicion Testing Programs

Is testing an employee under reasonable suspicion a violation of his or her 4th amendment right to privacy? What are some examples or reasonable suspicion factors courts have considered constitutional? The United States Court of Appeals in the Sixth Circuit answered these employment concerns in Knox County Education Association v. Knox County Board of Education.

Reasonable Suspicion Drug Testing After Workplace Accidents in Florida

Public pressure in the early 1900’s led to the U.S. government adopting employee safeguard acts which eventually turned into the workers’ compensation laws in America.[1] An employer’s interest in protecting, among other things, the safety of its employees in the workplace may implement a drug-free workplace program. If this program includes post-accident testing, important questions

DOT Reasonable Suspicion Testing Violation and Constitutional Infringement Claims in Collective Bargaining

Employers of transportation-related safety-sensitive employees must abide by the strict regulations found in the 49 C.F.R. Part 40 and the regulations specific to the DOT sub-agency that has authority over those employees.[1] However, to what extent does or can a collective bargaining agreement limit or modify an employer’s or a covered employee’s responsibilities under the

Failure to Observe: Resolving Unobserved Follow Up Plan DOT Urine Collections

You have a DOT employee who has been part of a follow-up testing program mandated by the Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) for several months and all seems to be going fine, the results are coming back negative and the employee appears to be on track in recovery. However, one day you discover that the four

Distinguishing Error-Correction Training from Refresher Training Under the DOT Regulations

There are three types of training required for DOT Urine Specimen Collectors, Breath Alcohol Technicians (BATs), and Screening Test Technicians (STTs) under the 49 C.F.R. § 40. Initial Training This is a term which refers exclusively to the first step in the qualification process under either 49 C.F.R. Part 40.33 or 49 C.F.R. Part 40.213.

Can an Employer Discharge a DOT-regulated Employee Solely Based on a Positive Drug Test Result?

Is an employee who tests positive for any illegal substances automatically subject to termination? What constitutes a threat to public safety? In Eastern Associated Coal Corp. v. Mine Workers, James Smith worked as a member of a road crew where he had to drive “heavy truck-like vehicles” for Eastern Associated Coal Corporation (“Eastern”).[1] As the

DOT OFFICE OF DRUG AND ALCOHOL POLICY AND COMPLIANCE NOTICE

The Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, Pub. L. 115-334, (Farm Bill) removed hemp from the definition of marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act. Under the Farm Bill, hemp-derived products containing a concentration of up to 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are not controlled substances. THC is the primary psychoactive component of marijuana. Any product, including “Cannabidiol” (CBD)

Good Faith Belief: What All Employers Should Know About Illinois Recreational Marijuana Laws

In June of 2019, Illinois adopted the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act which legalized the recreational use of marijuana.[1] This law became effective January 1, 2020 and employers are unsure how this new law will affect businesses and under which circumstances drug testing can be administered to current employees for reasonable suspicion or post-accident testing

How Can a Reasonable Suspicion Determination Lacking Sufficient Reasonable Suspicion Still Be Valid?

Can an employee’s voluntary consent to a drug test negate the statutory requirements to establish reasonable suspicion? In Poulos v. Pfizer, Inc. the court considered two issues, the first was whether a drug test administered on an employee was in fact performed with his valid consent.[1] The second question was whether Pfizer, Inc. had established

How Many Trained Supervisors Does it Take to Order a DOT Reasonable Suspicion Drug Test?

Is it necessary to have two supervisors observe the impaired conduct of your employees to establish enough reasonable suspicion to have them tested for drugs or alcohol? Does split specimen testing apply to breath tests? These are questions the U.S. Court of Appeals had to consider in International Brotherhood of Teamsters (“IBT”) v. Federal Highway

Williams v. UPS, a Folly of Preemption in Reasonable Suspicion Testing

Do state drug testing regulations contradict federal regulations when it comes to reasonable suspicion drug tests? Be sure to look at exception clauses in the law. In the early 1980’s, fast and inexpensive urinalyses to detect drug use incentivized companies to drug test their employees.[1] In 1988 the Department of Transportation (DOT) issued regulations which

Lessons on Reasonable Suspicion from Burnley and Skinner

Determining what is “reasonable” in establishing “reasonable suspicion” can be very difficult to pin-point. In Railway Labor Executives’ Association v. Burnley, after a two-year rulemaking process, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) created new regulations mandating blood, urine, and breath tests of railway employees after certain train accidents, rule violations, and fatal incidents.[1] The FRA felt

Establishing Reasonable Suspicion: Are Anonymous Tips Enough?

The Fourth Amendment – a right recognized in the United States Constitution which allows the American people to be “secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.”[1] As companies have grown over the years, so has the need to drug screen those employees. Prior to drug testing any public employees based

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