You are here: Home > DOL Workplace eLaws

The Drug-Free Workplace Adviser assists users to build tailored drug-free workplace policies and provides guidance on how to develop comprehensive drug-free workplace programs. It also provides information about coverage and requirements of the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988. This Advisor was developed by the U.S. Department of Labor for the Drug-Free Workplace Policy Builder.

The Department of Labor (DOL) developed the elaws Advisers to help employees and employers understand their rights and responsibilities under numerous Federal employment laws. Each Adviser includes links to more detailed information that may be useful to the user, such as links to regulatory text, publications and organizations.

  • Drug Free Workplace Blog

    Drug Testing in the Workplace is Critical: Because 79% of Drug Users are Working.

    Is drug testing in the workplace a necessity? Take a look at the numbers. Statistics show that 47% of workplace accidents that result in serious injury and 40% of workplace accidents that result in death involve drug and/or alcohol use. Therefore, it is universally accepted that a drug-free workplace (DFWP)is essential for safety-minded employers.

    • Does drug testing require certification? — It depends on what type of drug testing you are doing. For example, pre-employment and even random drug test do not have to be conducted by a certified technician. We suggest you have a well trained staff member from human resources, etc... be trained with basic knowledge to be a drug testing coordinator. All Federal drug screens require a certified DOT licensee.
    • As of May 16, 2012, at least 28 states put forth proposals in 2012 to require drug testing or screening for public assistance applicants or recipients. — Three states passed legislation in 2011 and four states have passed legislation in 2012, bringing the total number of states to seven. In 2012, Utah passed legislation requiring applicants to complete a written questionnaire screening for drug use and Georgia passed legislation requiring drug tests for all applicants for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. Tennessee approved a bill to require substance abuse testing for all applicants and Oklahoma passed a measure requiring all applicants for TANF to be screened for illegal drug use.
    • How do I set-up a Drug-Free workplace program? — An effective DFWP program consists of five components that, together, provide a full, comprehensive management and training program designed specifically to meet the needs of your company. click here for additional DFWP info.

    On the job drug and alcohol abuse problems are common but easy to fix:

    • Consider your company goals— Are you having any concerns about drugs of abuse within your company? If the answer is yes or maybe, then you should consider the implementation of a drug-free workplace program.
    • Should my company drug and/or alcohol test? — Drug and alcohol abuses continue rising across the nation. Seventy-one percent of all drug users over the age of 18-more than 10 million workers-are employed full or part time, according to the Department of Labor.
    • Tough economic times, you think you can't afford to drug alcohol test —Drug and alcohol testing can be relatively inexpensive and very affordable, by simply doing it yourself, rather than outsourcing. Remember no certification is necessary at all for non-DOT drug and alcohol screening. Only DOT (department of transportation) drug screens and Post-Accident (federal) workers, such as forklift drivers, truck drivers, dump truck and/or heavy equipment operators, transit drivers, etc... actually require a certified person. Breath alcohol testing of a DOT employee/worker requires a certified breath alcohol technician.
    • What are the advantages of drug and alcohol testing in house onsite? — On-site drug testing is less expensive. You simply buy drug test from a low cost drug and alcohol testing supplier such as any Rapid-Exams, Inc. online store.
    • Reduce employee downtime by drug testing onsite yourself — In a random drug test situation, it is very costly to send an employee elsewhere to get a random drug test done. Simply call one of our experts to get training information and material instructional data procedures, etc. We'll even throw in a sample in many cases with an prospective buyer.
    • Increase overall safety and awareness by drug and alcohol testing. — Safety should be first and is very important in any workplace environment for all employees within any company, business, factory or otherwise establishment. When an accident on the job happens it can be related to drug use and/or prescription drug overdose and/or misuse.
    • Save on insurance claims by decreasing company liability — If you allow employees to work under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, it can really increase company liabilities associated with liability exposures, potential law suits, etc...See if you qualify lower insurance premiums if you have a drug-free workplace program policy in place.
    • ZERO TOLERANCE is the best policy for HERO intelligence — Update your company policy by implementing a drug free workplace program today. Start with an inexpensive box of 24 Alco-screen .02 or a low cost rapid drug test. Remember workplace environmental safety is best!
    Starting Your Drug-Free Programs

    Every company is different in its drug-free workplace needs. Some companies begin with a needs assessment and policy development. Other companies have a policy in place but need training and technical support while others might need assistance in drug testing or employee assistance services.

    No matter where your company is on the continuum of implementing and maintaining drug-free programs, Working Partners®products and services and professional staff can provide program help tailored to your company.

    Sources DFWP, Working Partners of America and the NCSL National Conference of State Legislators

Program Planning and Philosophy

An organization’s philosophy concerning alcohol and drugs sets the tone for its drug-free workplace policy and program. Some organizations focus on detection, apprehension and discharge and apply a strong law enforcement model that treats employees who use drugs as criminals. Other organizations focus on performance and emphasize deterrence and assistance, because they view alcohol and drug use as causing impairment of otherwise capable employees. The most effective drug-free workplace programs strike a balance between these two philosophies. They send a strong clear message and, at the same time, encourage employees to seek assistance if they are struggling with alcohol or drug problems.

The following are some philosophies and practices that can undermine the effectiveness of drug-free workplace programs:

  • Focusing only on illicit drug use and failing to include alcohol—the number one drug of abuse in our society
  • Accepting drug use and alcohol abuse as part of modern life and a cost of doing business
  • Over reliance on drug testing
  • Focusing on termination of users rather than rehabilitation
  • Reluctance of supervisors to confront employees on the basis of poor performance
  • Reinforcing an individual’s denial regarding the impact of his or her alcohol and drug use
  • Restricting benefits and/or access to treatment of alcoholism and addiction
  • Allowing insurers to restrict access to treatment programs

The characteristic common to all effective drug-free workplace programs is balance. A successful drug-free workplace program must strike a delicate balance between a number of sometimes competing elements, including:

  • The rights of employees and the rights of employers
  • The need to know and rights to privacy
  • Detection and rehabilitation
  • Respect for employees and the safety of all

Developing an effective program that strikes the right balance can be challenging. To help, organizations are strongly encouraged to:

Who is allowed access to the results of a drug test?

The result of a drug test may be considered personal health information. Consequently, there may be restrictions on how and whether such information (as well as other information related to an employee’s history of alcohol or drug use) can be shared with others. This is why employees who undergo a drug test generally must sign a release (usually at the time of the test) in order for their employer to receive the results. For more information about issues related to the release of health information, contact DHHS. This agency administers the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which dictates under what circumstances and to whom health information may be released. More information about this issue can be found on Office of Civil Rights HIPAA Web page.

source United States Department of Labor