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Implementing a Workplace Drug Policy

You will find basic information for policy related concerns here. When developing and implementing a drug free workplace policy, employers should consider several different federal laws and regulations. The most important are:
  • The Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988
  • The Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991
  • The U.S. Department of Defense's Rules and Regulations for Defense Contractors
  • The National Labor Relations Act
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
  • The Civil Rights Act of 1964
  • The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993                                                    
These mandates can be divided into two broad categories of legislation:
1.   One set of laws explicitly targets workplace substance abuse.  An example of these laws is the Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988.  Such acts legally compel certain types of employers to take action against drug use in the workplace.  For example, employers may be required to develop and circulate a written policy regarding drug use in the workplace or to administer drug tests to certain employees.
2.   The other set of laws is designed to protect the basic civil rights of American workers.  These laws include the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (A.D.A.) of 1990.  These statutes afford special legal protections to certain kinds of employees.  They also set clear limits on how far an employer can go when investigating and disciplining employee drug use.  Under the A.D.A., for example, employers are prohibited from firing a drug addict who is already seeking treatment for his or her condition.
Balancing the competing demands of these two types of legislation is one of the biggest challenges involved in creating a drug free workplace policy.

Implementing a Workplace Drug Policy - Compliance & Safety Management

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