Does testing for opioid abuse make sense for your company?
With a growing opioid epidemic, more and more employers are concerned about the effect it will have on their company if employees are abusing prescription pain killers. Consequently, you may want to add opioid abuse screening to your pre-employment routine, as long as you stay within legal compliance.
The Department of Transportation (DOT) requires opioid testing starting January 1, 2018 for industries that are regulated. This rule covers: commercial motor vehicle drivers, railroad employees, transit workers, flight crew and aviation-related workers, some pipeline employees and U.S. Coast Guard regulated marine employees.
Not regulated by the DOT? Can you still legally test for opioids?
So, what if the DOT does not regulate your industry? Does it still make sense to test for opioid abuse? Yes, it can make sense for your work environment to minimize risk and liability. For safety-sensitive positions like construction, warehouse and machinery opioid abuse could easily cause injury both to the employee, others on the job or property damage.
Follow the guidelines so that you are in compliance with the latest regulations:
- Follow any state drug testing laws – be aware as they can vary from state-to-state
- Write workplace policies to specifically prohibit opioids that have no valid prescription
- A medical officer must review positive test results and verify whether the candidate/employee has a valid prescription and can safely perform the duties the job requires.
Finally, give your candidate/employee 5 days to have their prescribing physician contact the medical review officer. The risk posed by the medication will be discussed by the prescribing physician while determining whether the prescription can be changed. That way the candidate/employee does not become medically unqualified.
Need more help?
Partnering with a CRA (Consumer Reporting Agency) with the services you need to fill in your HR gaps can be an economical solution. The right CRA partner can help you recruit, integrate your system, perform background screening, provide education and license verification. They can also provide drug testing at convenient locations, and support throughout the process. Feel confident that you are hiring the best for your company by having done due diligence both legally and ethically for your employees and customers. A professional CRA partner pays for itself by avoiding costly hiring mistakes. For a free consultation or more information, contact Genesis Background Screening Services at 866 944-0041 ext 101. Online, email or visit www.genesisbackgroundscreening.com. You can sign up to be emailed whenever we post a new blog at https://genesisbackgroundscreening.com/subscribe-to-the-blog/
Genesis Background Screening is not a law firm and provides our blogs for informational purposes only. The blog is not a substitute for experienced legal advice. Research any laws or regulations mentioned here, check with your legal counsel if you have questions and to confirm your organization is within the law regarding compliance.
Jacqueline McClure, Genesis Background Screening Services