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Alabama Alcohol & Drugs: What you need to know

Employers are not legally required to ask employees or job applicants to undergo drug testing. However, employers may qualify for a 5 percent workers' compensation insurance premium discount by voluntarily implementing a drug-free workplace program that complies with specific criteria and that is approved by the Workers' Compensation Division of the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations (AL Code Sec. 25-5-330 et seq.). These requirements include written notice to applicants and employees of testing policy and procedures, disciplinary action, confidentiality standards, available employee assistance programs, and employee/supervisor education.

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Applicants. Job applicants may be tested after a conditional offer of employment.

Employees. An employer may require an employee to submit to a drug test on the basis of reasonable suspicion, as part of a routinely scheduled fitness-for-duty medical exam, after an on-the-job injury, or as a follow-up to a rehabilitation program. The law does not prohibit private sector employers from conducting random testing or other lawful testing of employees.

Confirming test. Employees or job applicants who test positive may contest or explain the results within 5 working days after they receive written notification of test results. All positive tests must be confirmed.

Notice. Before implementing drug testing, employers must give applicants and employees a onetime, 60-day notice of the program. Notice must be included on each job vacancy announcement that requires testing. The policy must also be posted in a conspicuous location on the employer's premises.

Most states have comprehensive fair employment laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability and ...


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