Maine Lawmakers Consider Workplace Drug-Testing Bill

January 28th, 2014 by admin Leave a reply »

At his family-owned box factory in Biddeford, Derek Volk says employees have surprised him over the years when confronted about whether or not they’re using drugs on the job. In fact, he says he’s pretty much heard it all.

“Like the employee who showed up for work late repeatedly and then was fired, only to sue us because we were not making accommodations for his marijuana addiction,” Volk said. “Or the employee who was rumored to be eating her oatmeal at lunch mixed in with her meth. Or the employee, who after confronted about coming back from lunch high, said to my supervisor, ‘Well, I may have been stoned this morning and I ran the machine fine.”

Volk told members of the Legislature’s Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development Committee that a bill crafted by the LePage administration will prompt a lot more companies to consider adopting random drug-testing policies at their businesses.

For one thing, LD 1669 would remove the current provision that requires employers to maintain an employee assistance program and pay for half the costs of drug treatment. The bill would also make it easier for employers to identify potential drug abuse by creating a probable standard for testing that could be triggered by a single accident within the workplace.

State Sen. Andre Cushing, who sponsored the bill on the behalf of the state Department of Labor, says that suggestion is not necessarily carved in stone.

“Well some of these things are yet to be

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