Maryland Alcohol and Drugs laws & HR compliance analysis

Maryland Alcohol and Drugs: What you need to know

If an employer tests applicants or employees for the use or abuse of controlled substances or alcohol for a job-related reason, Maryland's General Health Code requires that certain procedures be followed. Among the law's provisions and requirements, an employer must do the following:
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• Have the specimen tested by a licensed laboratory. “Specimen” means blood, urine, hair, or saliva. A court has clarified that such a specimen does not include breath (Whye v. Concentra Health Servs., No. ELH-12-34322 (D. Md. Sept. 24, 2013)).
• At the time of testing, provide the applicant or employee with the name and address of the laboratory if he or she so requests.
• If the test results are positive, provide the person with: the results, a copy of the employer's substance abuse policy, written notice of any action that the employer intends to take, and notice of the employee's right to have the specimen retested at his or her own expense. This information must be provided either in person or by certified mail within 30 days of the testing.
An employer may use a preliminary screening procedure to test an applicant for the use or abuse of any controlled dangerous substance, unless the employer has entered into a collective bargaining agreement that prohibits the employer from doing so. If the result is positive, the employer must submit the specimen for testing by a laboratory (MD Code Health-Gen. Sec. 17-214).
Violation of this law constitutes a misdemeanor. If convicted, the violator will be subject to fines not to exceed $100 for a first offense and not to exceed $500 for each subsequent violation. Each day a violation is continued after the first conviction is a subsequent offense (MD Code Health-Gen. Sec. 17-216).

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