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OSHA Memorandum Clarifies Employer's Right to Conduct Post-Accident Drug and Alcohol Testing

Author: Tracey E. Diamond

11/21/2018

Read the full post at HiringToFiring.Law

OSHA Memorandum Clarifies Employer's Right to Conduct Post-Accident Drug and Alcohol Testing

Q. Are there any limitations on my company’s ability to require employees to submit to drug and alcohol testing after an accident?

A. In May 2016, OSHA published a final rule that, among other things, amended the Occupational Safety & Health Act (OSH Act) to prohibit employers from retaliating against employees for reporting a work-related illness or injury. In the preamble to that final rule, OSHA cautioned that a blanket rule that mandates drug/alcohol testing after every accident, injury or illness could be seen as retaliatory. Instead, before requiring an employee to submit to post-accident testing, OSHA said that there must be a “reasonable possibility” that drug or alcohol use caused or contributed to the reported injury or illness. Thus, for example, it would not make sense to test an employee who reported a repetitive strain injury from typing, since drug or alcohol use is not likely to be involved.

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