Employers that promote workplace safety by ensuring workers are not under the influence of drugs or alcohol after they suffer a workplace injury will soon face greater scrutiny from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”). A new OSHA rule that goes into effect August 10, 2016 casts serious doubt on whether employers can lawfully maintain mandatory post-incident drug and alcohol testing.
OSHA Thinks Mandatory Testing Deters Reporting
The new OSHA rule becomes effective August 10, 2016, though compliance deadlines may vary from state to state (check with your employment counsel to confirm). When the rule becomes effective, employers must have a reporting procedure for workplace injuries that is “reasonable and [will] not deter or discourage employees from reporting” workplace injuries. To which you say, “My business already has that.” Perhaps you do, but if that procedure includes mandatory post-incident drug or alcohol testing, OSHA may no longer consider it to be reasonable. Though OSHA claims that “the [new] rule does not prohibit drug testing of employees,” the Agency also states that “mandating automatic post-injury drug testing [is] a form of adverse action that can discourage reporting.” In other words, OSHA has determined that mandatory post-incident drug and alcohol testing may be unlawful because it may deter someone from reporting an injury.
Continue Reading OSHA Promotes Workplace Safety by . . . Limiting Drug and Alcohol Testing?