Friday, October 21, 2011

Compliant Policy Informs Employee Of Drug Testing Rights

One of the best steps an Arizona employer can take to adapt to the workplace challenges presented by the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA) is to adopt a drug testing policy that complies with the state's newly amended Drug Testing of Employees Act.

A fundamental prerequisite for compliance is a written drug testing policy, and we have been slogging through the detailed and technical mandates for what that policy must contain.  One of those mandates is for written notification to employees of their rights under the Act.

Among the rights that must be set forth in writing is the employee’s right to request the written test results.  This right exists whether or not the result is positive.

Another employee right that must be set forth in the written policy is the right to explain, in a confidential setting, a positive test result.   The employee also has a right to provide information relevant to the test at the time of sample collection, and while the Act does not mandate disclosure of this right in the employer’s written testing policy, common sense dictates that the statement regarding sample collection procedures should include notice of this right, as well. 

Reading both statutory provisions together makes it clear that even if the employee does not disclose his status as a current or former Qualified Patient (QP) under the AMMA at the time of sample collection, such as showing an AMMA ID card, the employee will get a second opportunity to do so if the confirmed test results come back positive.

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