Florida State Spotlight
The State of Florida has a drug free workplace program which can be found at Florida WC Code 440.102 and Florida Admin. Code 59A-24 et al. We have put together this summary to provide guidance for employers wishing to become a drug free workplace in the State of Florida.
This voluntary program will provide up to a 5% DISCOUNT on workers compensation insurance premiums and it should be noted that the voluntary program has no effect on DOT-regulated drug testing requirements.
What Are Covered Employers
Covered employers under these regulations are defined as private employers with 3 or more employees or public employers which employee safety-sensitive and/or law enforcement positions.
Applicant Testing: Pre-employment testing is authorized with advanced notice to all applicants. Employers should state in their drug free workplace policy that an applicant's refusal to submit to a test is misconduct and may be used as a basis for not hiring.
Employee Testing: A Florida drug free workplace must test all current employees authorized on reasonable suspicion of substance abuse, as part of the routine fitness-for-duty exam, or as follow-up to employee's participation in counseling or rehabilitation. An employer may choose to conduct random testing as part of their program.
The State of Florida requires written notice of testing program which must be given at least 60 days in advance.
Compliance with the Florida Drugfree Workplace Statute provides eligibility for certain discounts and other benefits under the state's workers' compensation law and discipline or discharge authorized for employees who test positive.
Drugs that can be tested
Individuals can be tested up to a standard 10 panel urine drug test and alcohol testing must be conducted via blood specimen for both screening and confirmation. Oral fluid testing is not allowed under the Florida Drug Free Workplace program, however, there are no restrictions for hair testing as long as it is addressed in the employer’s written policy.
Important Bullet points:
- Employers who, by policy, enact a drug-free workplace program must be governed by a law that encourages voluntary programs only if they want to avail of the specific benefits that the law allows for compliant employers.
- Employees and applicants must receive the employer’s written notice of the drug-free workplace policy prior to testing. The full text of the policy must be available and accessible for inspection. Notice of the policy must also be posted at conspicuous locations as well as included in vacancy announcements.
- All drug testing must conform to federal rules. Confirmations must be done by a certified SAMSHA or FL-AHCA approved laboratory and must be reviewed by an assigned medical review officer. (MRO)
- Refusal to test may be grounds for adverse employment action or, for the case of job applicants, a positive test result may support an employer to refuse to hire said applicant.
- Compliance to Florida’s voluntary program entitles employers to a 5% discount on premium for workers’ compensation.
- Employers cannot discipline, discharge or discriminate any employee who voluntarily undergoes a drug rehabilitation program.
- An employee who undergoes a successful drug/alcohol rehabilitation shall be reinstated to the same/equivalent position prior to the rehabilitation
- Employers are to compensate employees, who test negative, for time spent when undergoing drug tests.
- All drug/alcohol test results are confidential. However, the employer or laboratory conducting the drug test may access the employee’s drug test information in case of legal action is brought pertaining to this section or for his defense in civil matter.
For more information or to become a Florida Drug Free Workplace, Call Us Today (800)221-4291