At The Podium

OSHA and Drug Testing: Understanding new federal obligations on employers

Date: March 22, 2017

Event: EmployerLINC17: Back to Basics

Venue: National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum

Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Lauren Hanna
Lauren Hanna
Kristin Simpsen
Kristin Simpsen

Under the Oklahoma Standards for Workplace Drug & Alcohol Testing Act, employers are permitted to conduct drug and alcohol testing of employees in certain circumstances, including post-accident testing and for-cause testing. In May 2016, however, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) published a new rule limiting an employer’s right to conduct such testing. As originally written, the new OSHA rule stated that employer drug testing policies should limit post-incident testing to situations in which employee drug use is “likely to have contributed to the incident, and for which the drug test can accurately identify impairment caused by the drug.” After being challenged by trade groups and employers regarding the virtually impossible standard set by the new rule, OSHA relaxed its position and clarified its stance six months later.

Speaking at McAfee & Taft’s EmployerLINC17 seminar in Oklahoma City in a presentation titled “OSHA and Drug Testing: Understanding new federal obligations on employers,” McAfee & Taft labor and employment attorneys Lauren Hanna and Kristin Simpsen review OSHA’s updated guidance on the new rule, discuss the conditions and situations that are likely to warrant drug testing (and which ones don’t), and provide practical advice on how to identify those who should be tested and why.