MN Non-DOT Drug & Alcohol Testing
The Whiz Guys are fully compliant and knowledgeable about Minnesota non-DOT Drug and Alcohol Testing. If interested in doing non-Dot testing, The Whiz Guys can help your company get started right away. The following is an overview of the guidelines.
In Minnesota, employer testing of job applicants and employees for drugs and alcohol is governed by the Minnesota Drug and Alcohol Testing in the Workplace Act, Minn Stat 181.950-181.957(DATWA). This “Act” was put in place for all employers that conduct drug and alcohol testing on job applicants, employees or independent contractors in MN. Employees that perform “safety sensitive” functions at work are required by this “Act” to be subject to random testing. A “safety sensitive position” is defined in this statute as a job, including any supervisory or management position, in which an impairment caused by drug and alcohol usage would threaten the health or safety of any person.
This statute does not require all companies to conduct drug and alcohol testing but those who do, need to follow and must strictly comply with all requirements of the Act. The employer MUST have a written policy in place before the applicants or employees are subjected to testing. A written policy must contain the following to be compliant with the statute:
- Description of employees subject to testing, “safety sensitive position”.
- Circumstances under which drug or alcohol testing is required.
- The right of an employee to refuse to undergo testing and the consequence of a positive test result.
- Disciplinary action that may be taken based on a positive test result.
- The right of an employee to explain a positive test and request and pay for a confirmatory retest.
- Any appeal procedures available to employees.
*These are only an example of minimal requirements for a written policy.
At the very least it is advisable to adopt a policy prohibiting the use, sale, possession, or trafficking of drugs in the workplace. The Employers should treat their drug and alcohol policies like a binding contractual commitment. The Whiz Guys always recommends to have the employer consult with an attorney about a DATWA compliant drug and alcohol testing policy. The employers’ designated employee representative (DER) should know this policy “very well” in order to be fully compliant with the MN statute. The DER must be an employee of the company and must oversee that this policy is strictly enforced. A written notice of testing by the employer is required before testing occurs. This applies to job applicants, all affected employees and employees that are transferring to “safety sensitive positions”.
DATWA requires 5 types of testing for job applicants, existing non-DOT employees and independent contractors. An employer is not required to conduct ALL 5 types of testing but cannot test beyond these categories.
- Job Applicants (pre-employment): Under DATWA statute, in order to test a job applicant, an employer must make a conditional job offer of employment to the applicant. Also, the test should be for illegal drugs, not alcohol.
- Random Physical Examination Testing: An employer can require an employee to undergo drug and alcohol testing as part of a routine physical examination. It is limited to annually and employee must be given two weeks written notice.
- Random Testing of Safety Sensitive Employees: Typically, the employer contracts with a consortium/third party administrator (Whiz Guys) to oversee the random selection process. Employees are randomly selected and returned to the random testing pool and may be selected again at a future selection date. DATWA permits the applicable testing rate of 50% employees per year.
- Reasonable Suspicion Testing (Including “Post Accident” and “Post Injury” Testing): An employer may require an employee to undergo drug and alcohol testing if the employer has reasonable suspicion, based on specific facts that the employee: is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, has violated employer’s written work rules regarding drugs and alcohol, has sustained a personal injury at work, and/or has caused a work related accident while operating machinery, equipment or vehicle. The employer should also create a reasonable suspicion checklist form. The Whiz Guys supply this form and can provide supervisor training for employer.
- Treatment Program Testing (Including “Return to Duty” and “Follow Up” Testing): An employer may require the employee to undergo drug and alcohol testing as a “return to duty” and “follow up” testing for 2 years after chemical dependency treatment. If follow up test is positive, employer must be careful how to handle these situations, that is why the employee handbook and/or drug and alcohol testing policy is very important for documentation to terminate or suspend employee.
Drug and alcohol testing in the State of Minnesota must be conducted by a certified laboratory which meets certain criteria contained in DATWA. Non-DOT drug and alcohol testing in Minnesota is limited to blood, urine, and hair testing. Breath alcohol test is used as a screening tool only. If breathalyzer is positive, the employer is responsible for employee to draw a blood sample to be analyzed by a certified laboratory.