Anderson Benson Looks at TN Drug Free Workplace Program’s New Rules

By Leigh Anne Strickland, Partner

As of May this year, an employer can now conduct point of collection pre-employment drug testing of job applicants in compliance with the TN Drug Free Workplace Program’s new rules which took effect May 5th, 2018.

What does that mean? These facts assembled by Fortier Loss Control highlight the advantages and requirements:

  • This means employers can now obtain immediate drug tests results onsite in a cost-effective manner.  It is of course restricted to those job applicants that have been offered employment conditioned upon the results of the test.  While this does not include the more precise confirmatory testing required for all urine specimen that have a positive Initial Screening Test, it can save time and money.
  • Any positive test must be confirmed by a certified laboratory pursuant to the Program’s rules, just as all positive Initial Screening Tests in federally regulated testing must be followed by a more precise confirmatory test (typically a GC/MS test).
  • To be approved for use, the product used in point of collection testing must conform to the standards required by the US Department of Transportation and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
  • This means the test kit must use a bio-chemical method approved for Initial Screening Tests for federally regulated testing and the “cut-off’ levels at which a test is considered to be positive must be identical to the SAMHSA Initial Screening Test “cut-off” levels.

Here’s the catch: at this date, there have not been any point of collection test kits approved by the Department of Labor.  

We’re told that many entities are currently working with the Department of Labor, Alere Toxicology, our MRO, and test kit manufacturers to determine available options, but for now beware attempting to enact them with a test kit that won’t hold up to the standards necessary.

We recommend checking the following website for updates: https://www.tn.gov/workforce/injuries-at-work/employers/employers/drug-free-workplace-program.html