Mandatory Follow-Up Alcohol Testing Violates Rights of Alcoholic Employees, New Jersey Appeals Court Concludes
A recent decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit provides insight into the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) and the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) as to employees misusing prescription drugs in the workplace.
For this edition of the quarterly Drugs Don’t Work newsletter, I’m pleased to report some good news: Americans in the workplace are testing positive less to marijuana and cocaine, according to a new study just published by Quest Diagnostics, Inc. Unfortunately, with good news often comes bad news: positive tests for amphetamines and other prescription drugs are on the rise.
Last November, voters in Colorado and Washington voted, by a slim margin, to legalize the use of marijuana for all individuals over the age of 21. Colorado’s new law, which expressly suggested that the state should regulate the use and sale of marijuana like alcohol, was foreseeable, as Colorado in 2000 adopted a medical marijuana law that was expanded to offer marijuana to individuals with a generous array of health concerns.
Nearly three years after it was passed, and following numerous false starts, the "New Jersey Compassionate Use of Medical Marijuana Act" finally became a reality with the opening of New Jersey's first medical marijuana dispensary -- the Greenleaf Compassion Center in Montclair -- on December 6, 2012. It is now timely to ask the question: What impact will New Jersey's Medicinal Marijuana Program (MMP) have on employer efforts to create and maintain drug-free workplaces?
According to the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy, the abuse of prescription drugs has soared in recent years, coming in second only to marijuana use as the nation’s most commonly abused illegal drug.
K2 or “spice” are terms used to describe a variety of products made of dried, shredded plant material laced with synthetic compounds.
WASHINGTON – More than 90 individuals were arrested and more than five million packets of finished designer synthetic drugs were seized in the first-ever nationwide law enforcement action against the synthetic designer drug industry responsible for the production and sale of synthetic drugs that are often marketed as bath salts, Spice, incense, or plant food.
To achieve the goal of a drug- and alcohol-free transportation environment, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation (“DOT”) has adopted regulations (the “DOT Regulations”) requiring certain commercial motor vehicle operators to be tested for alcohol and drugs.
Last year, Drugs Don’t Work New Jersey undertook a survey of in-state employers, to gauge their drug-free workplace policies and practices.
As a follow up to a study PDFNJ commissioned in 2008, Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind recently completed a telephone survey of 301 randomly selected employers in NJ, including an oversampling of businesses with over 100 employees.
No matter how hard we work at substance abuse prevention, education, and treatment, the nature of addiction seems to ensure that it will be a long time before the United States can conclude that it has eliminated the scourge, much as it once eliminated polio.
One of the more difficult issues for employers dealing with drug use in the workplace is distinguishing between employees “currently engaged” in the illegal use of drugs and those who are no longer so engaging.
New Jersey Drug Court Program Economic Impact
Employer Drug Testing Policies:Legal Drugs are Different
According to data recently released by the Laboratory Corporation of America (LabCorp), marijuana is still the drug most often detected by employment drug tests.
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) final rule amending certain drug testing procedures goes into effect October 1, and regulated employers are moving to update their written testing plans and practices to reflect the changes.
Sometimes a court decision can be instructive not because of the law it promulgates, but because of the object lesson it provides. Such a case is the Matter of Michael Brown, an unpublished decision recently decided by the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division.
A new “Drug Testing Index Special Report” issued by laboratory giant Quest Diagnostics suggests that the abuse of illegal amphetamines and cocaine have continued to decline among United States workers, although it appears that urine drug tests fail to detect a fair number of those who abuse these drugs.