HR Policy Examines Drug Testing in Conference Call

May 03, 2019

In the wake of the proliferation of state and local measures addressing drug testing by employers, including a bill in New York City, HR Policy Association held a membership-wide conference call on issues related to drug testing.

Robert Hardin-Leeth, Director of Safety at Nationwide, and Jim Tallaksen, Vice President, Labor & Employee Relations at Stanley Black & Decker, were featured on the call.  The call was moderated by HR Policy Vice President of Health & Employment Policy Mark Wilson.  Providing legal analysis was HR Policy Senior Labor and Employment Counsel Roger King.

Among the issues discussed:

  • Whether companies set their policies to be compliant with federal law where state or local laws are more liberal in their treatment of marijuana use by workers;

  • Whether drug testing policies should be adjusted depending on safety sensitive positions and, in some cases, geography;

  • Responses to a bill expected to be signed by Mayor Bill De Blasio banning testing for marijuana use in New York City; and

  • How managers can assess whether an employee may be impaired where drug use is otherwise legal.

Looking ahead: The issue of drug testing is only expected to increase in prominence as state and local governing bodies continue to be active in this area.