Screening News Network Blog

Medical Marijuana Laws Do Not Override Employer’s Rights… At Least for Now

Drug Testing, Legalizing Marijuana

The majority of states now have some form of legalized medical marijuana. The fact that marijuana is now going to be prescribed by physicians raises a lot of questions for employers. If an applicant or employee has a prescription, should the marijuana be considered a medication? And should patients using it be protected?

Federal Judge Halts OSHA Rule on Post Accident Drug Testing

Drug Testing

On Tuesday, July 11th, Federal Judge David Russell, District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma, helped the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) halt its much maligned injury and illness reporting rule that was put into place under the Obama administration. The agency still must consider whether to undo all or part of the regulation. This now-barred rule did more to slow down, and to some extent stop, post-accident drug testing by employers across the United States for fear of an OSHA retaliation charge and fines. The case is the National Association of Home Builders of the United States et al. v. Perez et al.

Non-DOT Drug Testing: What You Need to Know

Drug Testing

Substance abuse—whether it’s alcohol, illegal drugs, or even legally prescribed medications—poses huge risks to businesses of all sizes. If left unchecked, abuse can cost employers billions each year on everything from healthcare costs to lost productivity.

If you think your company doesn’t need to drug test, just remember that the vast majority of drug-abusers are employed! A solid drug testing program helps weed out problems before the damage is done.

Amtrak Engineer's Post-Accident Drug Test Showed Marijuana, Opioids

Drug Testing

In the early morning of April 3, 2016, in clear weather conditions, an Amtrak locomotive engineered by 47-year-old Alex Hunter slammed into a backhoe on the tracks, killing two veteran Amtrak employees. There were 341 passengers and 7 crew-members aboard Train 89 traveling from New York City to Savannah. Among the passengers, 35 were transported to local hospitals in Chester, PA with non-life-threatening injuries.

Why Your Company Should be Drug Testing

Drug Testing

There are a lot of things business owners need to worry about these days, and every single one of them seems to come with a price tag. Sometimes -- especially when you might be trying to tighten your belt -- it’s hard to see the return on something like drug testing until you take a step back and look at the big picture.

Can Race Affect Hair Drug Test Results?

Drug Testing

After more than ten years of litigation, a Boston jury will now have to decide if African American police officers were treated unfairly based on the results of hair follicle drug test results. The case has been bouncing around the court system since 2005 when a group of African American officers filed a lawsuit alleging that the hair testing used by the department was more likely to turn up positives from their hair than that from their Caucasian peers.

Drug Use in American Workforce Up Across the Board

Drug Testing

The number of U.S. workers testing positive for drugs is at its highest level in more than 10 years. Quest Diagnostics Inc., one of the country’s largest laboratories, released data that 4% of the nearly 11 million employment drug tests they processed came back positive. The positives were up in both the general workforce and in DOT-regulated positions like truck drivers and pilots. The drugs found in the workers’ systems range from marijuana to methamphetamines.

Answers to Common Questions about the New OSHA Reasonable Reporting Rule

Drug Testing

It is a good habit for companies of all sizes to do regular check-ups on their drug testing policies, because laws are changing very rapidly. One recent change is the new Reasonable Reporting Procedure rule from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA). The new rule, §1904.35(b)(1)(iv), which OSHA will begin enforcing on December 1, 2016, could change the way you do post-incident drug testing.

Here is the concern: if an employer requires a drug test after every single work-related injury or accident, many people might not report incidents just to avoid taking the test. OSHA wants to make sure every incident is reported. To take away the fear of reporting, employers will now be required to have an explicit reason for conducting a post-accident drug test. A murky directive at best, this new rule has raised many questions from businesses of all sizes.

We recently hosted a webinar on how this change will affect employers. We have also put together a list of Frequently Asked Questions about §1904.35(b)(1)(iv).  We hope you find them helpful!

Another Delay in OSHA Post-Accident Drug Testing Rule Enforcement

Drug Testing

About a month ago we hosted a webinar with our friends at Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete to help you get ready for the new post-incident drug testing rules coming out of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The rules were originally set to go into effect in August. The date was pushed back until November 1st, and now, thanks to a case in Texas, the new date is December 1, 2016.

OSHA Delays Enforcement of Post-Accident Drug Testing Rule to December

Drug Testing

In high stakes litigation playing out before United States District Judge Sam Lindsey in Dallas, Texas, the government attorneys and those employer groups seeking to enjoin OSHA’s record keeping rule-anti-retaliation provision under 29 CFR 1904.35, have jointly agreed to extend the delay of enforcement until December 1, 2016. This is to give the parties further time to brief the issues focusing on the nationwide injunction requested, and the court’s authority to issue such an order.

OSHA Colors in Post-Accident Drug Testing Expectations

Drug Testing

Note from the Editor: Coming up next week, EBI is offering a webinar on new OSHA rules about reporting injuries in the workplace. That rule is being challenged in court by several groups of builders and contractors. They claim the rule’s anti-retaliation provisions go too far and will limit their ability to investigate accidents. Today, our presenter for the OSHA webinar, Tommy Eden, gives us a deeper look at the dispute.

Fatalities Linked to Pot Spike on Washington Roadways

Drug Testing, Legalizing Marijuana

 

Washington State made recreational marijuana legal in 2013. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, in just a year the number of fatal car crashes involving the drug more than doubled in the state. The year before the drug was legalized, only 8% of fatal accidents involved drivers who showed signs of pot use. By 2014, that number was 17%.