10 Things to Know About Workplace Drug Testing State Laws and Regulations in West Virginia
1) Legal Stand
The state law of West Virginia mandates certain employees for tests. Employers in other industries are directed as to who may be covered, the agency to be used, timing of drug tests and the substances that are to be tested for. The directives to employers come from legal decisions that have been taken over the years.
The law does not mandate a written policy in the privately run workplace but the absence of a clearly written policy hinders an employer’s decision to rebut a claim for compensation or unemployment by an errant worker. A written policy is mandated only in the Public Works Improvement projects. The law dictates that the policy must state the meaning and employer’s intent of keeping the workplace free of drugs, list the type of tests that an employee may be subjected to and name the individual who is the contractor’s drug free workplace representative. The policy must be kept in a clearly visible place each employee will be provided a copy to read and provide a signed acknowledgement.
A notice is mandated only in the Public Works Projects in easy view of the employees.
The law requires the public works department to bear the substance testing costs carried out randomly or on suspicion. Other than that, all employers are required to bear the cost of medical exams. The court does not clearly cover substance abuse tests as a part of medical exams.
5) Impact of Positive Test
If the employee of a contractor tests positive, it may lead to a series of disciplinary action including immediate termination of the employment contract. If the employee is not terminated, there is likely to be a requirement for random drug or alcohol tests for a year after the positive result.
6) Violation of policy
The contractor is liable to lose the awarded contract if there exists proof that the drug free workplace policy is not being strictly implemented. Absence or suppression of information with respect to the drug free workplace policy is also deemed reason enough to cancel the contract. The contractor is required to carry out two hours drug free workplace training for supervisors every year. All new employees must be educated with respect to this policy within 6 weeks of joining.
If the behavior of an employee in a public works improvement project indicates the use of intoxicants, the employee may be immediately suspended from risk-sensitive work until a substance abuse test is carried out. Pre-employment, random (especially for high-risk jobs), post accident and reasonable cause based testing may be conducted by employers. In addition, follow-up random tests may be carried out for a year after a positive test.
8) Positions Covered
The law requires random testing to be limited to only safety-sensitive positions.
The law requires public works contractors and sub-contractors to undergo urine analysis for drug and alcohol testing in a scientific and medically accepted manner.
10) Substances covered
A 9-panel drug test is defined for contractors and sub-contractors in public works projects. Private employers are not subjected to any limit or listing of substances to be tested.
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