When Drug Testing Consent is Required

It's essential for employers and employees to understand employment drug testing laws. A drug test for employment must comply with applicable federal and state laws, which vary by state. Companies subject to the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991 or the Drug Free Workplace Act should test its employees for substance abuse and alcohol use and implement treatment policies. Urine tests are commonly used as a drug screen method for employment drug tests.

Prospective employees may also undergo pre employment drug testing. An employee's written consent to employer drug testing should be obtained before conducting the test. A consent to employer drug testing form is commonly used to get consent to urine tests from individuals taking a drug screen. The individuals should not be required to take employment drug tests against their will. Parental consent must be obtained before an individual who is under the age of 18 takes a drug screen.

The person requesting the drug test for employment is called the requester and the person giving consent to drug testing for employment is called the consenter. The consent to drug testing form typically contains the names of the consenter and requester, as well as the reason for the drug test. The drug testing consent form allows a medical professional to conduct the drug test and give the drug test results to the requestor. Without written consent, a hospital or a lab cannot report a positive drug test to a requester.

Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991

This federal law addresses employees responsible for safety-sensitive functions in aircraft, trains, buses, and trucks mass transit and pipelines. This is a federal law that requires employer drug testing of pre-employment, reasonable suspicion, random, and post accident situations.

Drug Free Workplace Act

The Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 mandates that all recipients of federal grants and some federal contractors must ensure a drug-free workplace in order to receive a contract or grant from the federal government. This means the employees of the contractor/grantee are banned from involvement in the illegal manufacture, dispensing, distribution, possession, or use of any controlled substance on the work site connected to the specific contract or grant. The Act covers employees who are "directly engaged" in performing work under a government contract. "Directly engaged" means all direct-cost employees and any other contract employee who is more than minimally involved in performing under the contract.

The federal Drug-Free Workplace Act applies to federal contractors of organizations with contracts valued at $100,000 or more. It applies only to contracts performed in the U.S. that aren't for acquiring commercial goods. All organizations receiving federal grants and all individuals receiving a federal government grant or contract are also covered. The Act does not apply to subcontractors or sub-grantees. While the law doesn't require alcohol or drug tests, substance abuse testing is inherently allowed as a method of ensuring a drug-free workplace.

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