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Drug Testing

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

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
Why Your Company Should be 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?
Can Race Affect Hair Drug Test Results?

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 Use in American Workforce Up Across the Board

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
Answers to Common Questions about the New OSHA Reasonable Reporting Rule

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
Another Delay in OSHA Post-Accident Drug Testing Rule Enforcement

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

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
OSHA Colors in Post-Accident Drug Testing Expectations

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
Fatalities Linked to Pot Spike on Washington Roadways

 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%.

Mass Overdose Puts Spotlight on Synthetic Drugs
Mass Overdose Puts Spotlight on Synthetic Drugs

  A mass overdose recently sent 33 New Yorkers to the hospital in a single day. They weren’t doing any of the drugs that probably popped into your mind. All of them OD’d on K2, a synthetic marijuana that is also known as Spice. This increasingly popular drug is a powerful one. People describe those who are using as zombies.

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