On May 8, 2012, Gov. Mary Fallin signed into law an emergency measure amending the Oklahoma Standards for Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing Act. Major revisions to the state’s drug and alcohol testing laws went into effect November 1, 2011, but further amendments were deemed necessary to provide more clarity and direction for employers, employees, governmental agencies and the courts alike.
In a Sunday Business Section front-page article titled “Drug test laws ease employer concerns” published in the May 27, 2012, edition of The Oklahoman, McAfee & Taft employment lawyer Michael Lauderdale was interviewed by business reporter Paula Burkes about the amended law and what it will mean for employers. While the new law does give Oklahoma employers greater latitude in testing its employees and taking disciplinary action in accordance with its company drug and alcohol testing policies, Lauderdale said employees are still entitled to certain protections. For example, drug and alcohol testing records are still subject to confidentiality in most circumstances, and employees are still entitled to request confirmation testing within 24 hours of receiving the results of a positive test.
You can read Lauderdale's May 11, 2012, EmployerLINC employment law alert discussing the key changes in more detail.