Maine Lawmakers Consider Workplace Drug-Testing Bill

20140129-200346.jpgWell, this one came out of right field and certainly warrants our collective attention.  As reported by MPBN, Maine Lawmakers Consider Workplace Drug Testing Bill.

Maine lawmakers are considering a bill that would standardize random drug testing by employers. Sponsored by the Maine Department of Labor, the bill would replace multiple policies that currently exist, and remove the requirement for employers to pay for half the costs of any drug treatment under an employee assistance program. Supporters say the measure will encourage more employers to adopt drug testing programs, but critics say it would weaken current worker protections. A.J. Higgins has more.

LD 1669 – An Act To Standardize and Simplify the Process for Employers To Provide a Drug-free Workplace certainly warrants the attention of the Maine Human Resources profession.  The proposed legislation is nine page long and is summarized as follows;

Summary

Current law requires employers that want to provide a drug-free workplace by testing applicants or employees for substance abuse to develop and file a policy with the Department of Labor. The Bureau of Labor Standards reviews the policies to ensure compliance with state laws and rules. This bill provides employers with a single, consistent model policy. The model policy, which must be established by the Commissioner of Labor and managed by the department, is intended to encourage greater participation by employers to reduce substance abuse in the workplace. The bill requires an employer to adopt the model policy before establishing a substance abuse testing program. It removes the requirements that employers provide an employee assistance program and pay for half of rehabilitation beyond services provided through health care benefits. Employers may offer an employee assistance program if they choose. The bill amends the definition of “probable cause” to provide that a single work-related accident is probable cause to suspect an employee is under the influence of a substance of abuse. The bill requires the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Labor to work together to adopt rules to establish the model policy by July 1, 2015.

 I have not read the full bill yet. But tend to agree with the spirit and intent of the summary. 

Apparently, the hearing was yesterday, January 28, 2014 @ 2 PM. Why this wasn’t reported out to Maine HR community through established SHRM State Council & Chapters connection is unfortunate.  Current status is provided here. We Need To Get and Remain Collectively Engaged or Be Ready to Implement the Imposed Conditions.

Stay Tuned.

 

 

 

 

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