September 12, 2018 10:00am PT
Tips for Handling Workplace Substance Abuse under the ADA, Marijuana and Drug Testing
Substance abuse – of both legal and illegal drugs – can be an expensive problem for businesses. There are several issues that employers may face due to drug addiction, including lost productivity, injuries, theft, absenteeism, and legal liability. To ensure that employers are protecting their business, employers must ensure that they have a clear drug testing policy that is applied consistently. In drafting this policy and enforcing it, employers must carefully navigate the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), and applicable state discrimination laws to ensure that it does not face legal trouble.
Although existing substance abuse is not protected by the ADA, it does protect recovering and recovered alcoholics and drug addicts from discrimination, which presents difficulties in enforcing a drug testing policy. Employers must also be careful about what drugs it tests for, and when. Additionally, pursuant to the anti-retaliation provisions in OSHA’s Electronic Injury and Illness Recordkeeping Rule, employers are not allowed to conduct blanket post-incident drug tests. Finally, employers must take into consideration the issues raised by state discrimination laws, especially in light of the passage of state laws permitting medicinal use of marijuana – a substance that is still banned under the Controlled Substances Act. This webinar will discuss the legal factors that employers must consider when drafting and enforcing drug testing and zero-tolerance policies, and how employers can simultaneously protect their business and respect their employee’s privacy.